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  CSPAN    Capitol Hill Hearings    News/Business.  

    May 15, 2013
    8:00 - 1:01am EDT  

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interestingly, in the same period of time, the thieves were tissue the fees were universally aflide conservative groups. mr. speaker, we have a trust issue. we've had a trust issue in the house of representatives with the administration for some time and the american people are starting to realize that they, too, have a trust issue. and it is unfortunate. it is unfortunate because at a time when congress is generally speaking close to an all-time low approval rating, what we need is uplifting things from the most transparent organization in history to make sure the american people know they can trust their government even though they don't always agree. sometimes they disagree with policy but if it's out front, give somebody your rationale, you tell them, this is why i think we should do what we should do, the citizen says i don't agree but you're our leader, go ahead.
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but we don't lie to the american people we have don't hide things from the american people we feel don't watch americans die and do nothing about it and then lie about it after the fact. we don't mislead congress. mr. speaker, it's a most critical time, for the administration to fully come clean on everything, be up front on everything. because all that will serve to do is to erode the trust of the american people further day by day, not only in the administration, not only in the administration, but in the halls of all government institutions and we are right to be cynical of our government. we have a right to, and we have a right to be cynical. it's not a bad thing. we have the right to question. and we should question. that's how answers come, but we shouldn't have to question the trust. questioning motive, questioning policies, but wondering why the
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government is collecting information to give to the i.r.s. why did the i.r.s. need that information? was it to get more taxes? why do they need to know what books you are reading. the i.r.s. can put people in jail. are we looking to put people in jail for reading the wrong books, thinking the wrong things, opposing the ruling powers. that is something from another world, another country. this is america. these things do not happen here and should not happen here, yet, mr. speaker, these things have happened here. mr. speaker, it is time for the administration to lay everything on the table so we know where we stand and get past this and get back to the business of governance. we have slow economic growth. people are struggling. people have lost their jobs.
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people will continue to lose their jobs. paychecks are going down. we are held hostage by foreign governments who hold our debt and energy supplies when we are standing right on top of them in america. those are the policies we need to be discussing, not whether our government misled us about benghazi or wiretaps or fast and furious, whether they misled us about health and human services and what they're doing with shaking down money for obamacare and whether they are going to mislead us about certain organizations only and certainly the i.r.s. targeting of certain individuals for what they think and what they say. there is no place for that in america. we need to get back to the people's business and we need to do it right fast. mr. speaker, thank you for the time. nd i yield back.
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the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman have a motion? mr. perry: i move that the house do now adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it and the motion is adopted. accordingly the house stands adjourned until 10:00 a.m. tomorrow for >> and >> were presented sanford serve in that seat previously. i >> later this week, debate on a
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measure requiring the sec to conduct a cost-benefit analysis on new regulations while stating why those regulations are needed. >> wire house republicans setting up another vote on repealing the healthcare law? >> they really got opposition from their rush the numbers, saying the house isn't doing enough to repeal the health law. present obama has been a ray unelected -- has been reelected. that doesn't mean that house republicans don't want to make a statement and make it clear that they continue to fight this law. >> how many times have they tried to repeal the law? >> this'll will be the 37th vote to reveal a portion of the law. there has been 37 votes. was from the last three years. it do so be the third time that
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they have attempted epea >> what are republicans saying about the healthcare law that they say is the economy? >> it is a lot of things that are going to start going into effect that are going to be requirement on employers. we are seeing some insurance -- there is likely going to be increases in rates is going to hurt the public. they want to continue to put attention on the law. alexa mcgrath in this debate -- >> democrats have seen this debate before. what are they saying on this go around? >> they are saying this is more of the same and that congress could spend their time doing better things. they say it is silly to waste all this time and taxpayer money on legislation that the president would veto. >> you mentioned there are a number of possible laws that
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have yet to be implemented to read and will be lobby fully implement it? >> the significant portion will be implemented next year. as when the requirement to buy insurance or pay a penalty is going to go into effect. and employers will have to pay a penalty. >> there was a bill that came up on the house floor that was pulled, at the last minute. can you tell us about that bill? >> that was the helping sick americans now bill. it would extend the life of the entire insurance pool. they were supposed to provide coverage to very sick people who often have a hard time finding insurance. they went in effect in 2010 are -- and are set to expire this year.
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theseite house said that polls are going to run out of money, so they cut off new enrollees in the pool. republicans said this is a mistake. democrats -- it was obviously kind of sarcastic, but said democrats are leaving the sickest americans uninsured. this arrangement, taking money out of the prevention fund, is going to help them. many conservatives said that that was like it was popping up the health law. they didn't want to do that. they haven't vote on full repeal. for public and said that once they go for goal they could potentially come back to this helping sick americans act, it is yet to be determined whether that is going to be enough. they are hoping that this is the first that. lex in addition to this full repeal bell -- bill, are there
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any more piece of legislation you are keeping your eye on? >> this is the main one right now pray you are going to see more hits against the health law. i do not think that is going to be any time soon. >> read more politico.com . thanks for the update. what's present obama talks about the irs targeting of conservative groups. then attorney general eric holder testifies at a house judiciary committee. house republicans leaders discussed the irs. i smiled -- nancy pelosi discusses public and attempt to repeal the healthcare law. present obama announced that the acting head of the internal revenue service resigned in reaction to news that irs employees targeted some conservative groups for extra thun>> good afternoon.
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secretary lu, and senior officials at the treasury department. to discuss the improperly screening of groups apply for tax-exempt status. i look for to taking questions at tomorrow's press conference. i want to get out to all of you some information about what we're doing about this, and where we go from here. i have reviewed the treasury department watchdog report, and the misconduct that it covers is inexcusable. it is inexcusable, and america has a right to be angry about it. i am angry about it. i will not tolerate this kind of behavior. thecially in the irs, given
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power that it has, and the reach that it has in all of our lives. as i said earlier, it should not matter what political group you are from, the fact of the matter is, the irs has to operate with absolute integrity. the government generally has to conduct itself in way that is true to the public trust. the is true for the irs. here is what we are going to do. we are going to the responsible parties accountable. yesterday i direct the secretary lou to follow-up on the audit to find out how this happened and who was responsible, and to make sure that we understand the fax. he took the first step, by requesting and accepting the resignation of the acting commissioner of the irs. given the controversy surrounding the audit, it is important to institute the new --dership, that helpers for
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help restore confidence going on. we'll put in place new safeguards to make sure this behavior cannot happen again. i've director the director asked the secretary to begin incrementing the recommendations right away. third, we will work with congress as it performs its oversight role. our ministration has to make sure that we are working hand- in-hand with congress to get this thing fixed. congress, democrats and republicans, a wood to the american people to treat that authority with responsibility it deserves, anyway that is not ,mack of political agendas because one thing you have seen across the board is everybody believes what happened is an outrage. the good news is that is fixable. that isn't everyone best interest to work together. i will do everything in my power to make sure that nothing like this happens again.
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my -- by holding the responsible parties responsible, and by going forward, by making sure that the laws are imposed in a lawful way. that there is not to ambiguity surrounding these laws. that is what i expect. as with the american people deserve. that is what we are going to do. thank you very much. >> on friday, the house ways and means committee investigates the internal revenue service's targeting of conservative groups. actingiller, the former irs commissioner was scheduled
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to testify. he resigned wednesday afternoon. live coverage begins at 9:00 eastern on c-span three. the inspector general fuller port is -- llt is online. www.c-span.org at a hearing, eric holder and -- answered questions about the irs and the justice department seizure of associated press phone records. he said that he recuse himself from the investigation into the ap phone records. this is chaired by bob goodlatte.
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[no audio] >> we do not have order in the hearing room. members of the audience must behave in an orderly fashion or else they will be removed from the hearing room. it rule 11 of the house rules provided the chairman of the committee may punish reaches of order by center on the hearing. this is your last warning. the committee will come to order. the chair is authorized to declare recesses of the committee at any time.
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we welcome everyone to hear -- we welcome everybody today. welcome, attorney general holder, to your sixth appearance before the house judiciary committee since your confirmation in 2009. we are happy to have you here with us today. last month, the city of boston and the nation as a whole was gripped with fear as the historic boston marathon, traditionally a day of celebration, was attacked by twin explosions that killed three people and injured more than 250. dzhokhar tsarnaev and his older brother, tamerlan tsarnaev set off the explosions, then shot and killed mit police officer sean collier and seriously wounded boston transit police officer richard donohue while attempting to elude capture. tamerlan died after a fierce gun battle with police and dzhokhar eventually surrendered after sustaining serious injuries himself. i would like to commend the fbi, and all of the federal, state
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and local law enforcement agents who worked tirelessly to identify the bombers and apprehend dzhokhar. the patriots day attack in boston shows us that domestic terror threats are real, ongoing, and can have deadly consequences. in 2010, fbi director mueller and other intelligence officials warned us that domestic and lone-wolf extremists are now just as serious a threat to our safety as al-qaeda. we have been fortunate that, until april 15th of this year, previous domestic terror plots have been foiled. the bombings in boston remind us that the terror threat has not diminished, but that it is ever- present and evolving. it is critical that congress, and this committee in particular, ensure that our ability to detect, deter, and prosecute these threats keeps pace with this evolution. to that end, i look forward to hearing from you today about ways that congress can amend the federal rules for criminal cases
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to make sure that we are able to prosecute terrorism cases, while still allowing law enforcement to learn critical information to stop future attacks. i am also concerned about reports that in the years leading up to the boston attack, several different federal agencies or departments received intelligence about the bombers. these agencies did not connect the dots -- and this is not the first time this has happened in recent years. the question that the administration and we in congress need to address is whether there are any improvements that can be made going forward to facilitate inter-agency information sharing, so that we can better thwart future domestic terrorists. i am also interested to hear today about how the department intends to tighten its belt in a responsible way during this time of fiscal uncertainty. i was pleased to hear that the department was ultimately able to prioritize its spending to avoid furloughing federal agents ed theison guards in response td
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department's more than $27 billion budget by approximately 5 percent. however, after learning of elaborate conferences with $12 cups of coffee, $10,000 pizza parties, and a vast array of duplicative grogra, i am confident that there are many ways the department can root out waste and duplication without harming critical missions. with our national debt at more than $16 trillion, the american people deserve no less. i am also deeply concerned about a pattern i see emerging at the department under your leadership in which conclusions reached by career attorneys after thorough investigation are overruled by administration appointees for political reasons. for instance, investigators from this committee and the oversight and government reform committee have uncovered conclusive
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evidence that assistant attorney general tom perez, against the strong recommendations of career attorneys, struck a secret deal with the city of st. paul in order to block the supreme court from freely and-- >> that is cre information. >> the gentleman will have his opportunity to speak at a later time. this secret deal undermined the rule of law and robbed the american taxpayers of the opportunity to recover over $200 million fraudulently obtained funds. what is more, the new york times recently reported that political appointees at the department, over the vehement objections of career attorneys, decided to commit as much as $4.4 billion in taxpayer money to compensate thousands of farmers who had never claimed bias in court. a small group of female and hispanic farmers, based on claims similar to those in pigford, had made allegations
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that the department of agriculture had discriminated against them in administering its loan programs. however, according to the times, career attorneys within the department determined that there was no credible evidence of widespread discrimination, that the legal risks did not justify the costs, and that it was legally questionable to sidestep congress and compensate the farmers out of the judgment fund. just last week we learned that irs employees have admittedly targeted conservative groups for additional and unwarranted scrutiny, just because they chose to exercise their first amendment rights. this is outrageous, and congress and the american people expect answers and accountability. finally, just two days ago it was revealed that the justice department obtained telephone records for more than 20 associated press reporters and editors over a two-month period. these requests appear to be very broad and intersect important first amendment protections. any abridgement of the first
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amendment right to the freedom of the press is very concerning, and members of the committee want to hear an explanation from you today. i look forward to hearing your answers on all of these important topics today, as well as on other issues of significance to the justice .epartment and the country >> thank you. peace officer's memorial day. i would like to begin by honoring those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in serving our nation. he fallen officers who selflessly defend our streets, and keep our community safe. flags fly at half staff, our thoughts turn to these brave
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law-enforcement officers and officials. i think each and every officer whether dedicated public service. , first of the committee with respect to the government subpoena of phone records at the associated press, i am troubled by the notion that our government would pursue such a broad array of media phone records over such a long. of time. at the same time, i know that the attorney general himself has recused himself on the investigation. we will hear more about that. policy questions on this topic are fair. i want you to know that i intend to reintroduce the free flow of information, which passed the house floor with overwhelming support bipartisan 111th congre.
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we hope to do so with the continued support of members of this committee on the other side of the aisle. this federal press shield bill would require the government to show cause before they make -- may compel disclosure of this sort of information from or about a news media organization. it is a commonsense measure that in 49mparable revisions other states, and the district of columbia. also note that the free flow of information act that protects the media against overbroad government investigation, that has been commented publicly by many
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members of the congress, as well as the administration. we have all learned that some employees at irs appeared to have improperly targeted tea party groups as they applied for tax exempt status. allegations of discriminatory enforcement of the laurel -- of the lot more seriously than myself. i think the attorney general for opening an investigation to uncover any criminal activity. non there is the issue important than the continuing mission to ensure the safety and security of the american public. the department and local law enforcement are to be commended -- in the boston bombings.
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, mr. attorneyt general, that you and -- your investigation will carefully consider guests in our counterterrorism efforts that need to be addressed. i also want to commend the department of justice and the fbi for their committed to the most powerful counterterrorism tools in our arsenal. military commissions have a troubled track record.
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convicted only seven individuals, and have never successfully prosecuted a u.s. citizen. , yourtorney general commitment to the rule of law in this matter is to be commended, not just because it is the right thing to do, but also because it keeps us safer. i would like to recognize the dedication to enforcement and civil rights, and voting under the law. andr your leadership, under the leadership of the assistant attorney general, tom perez, the department has --ained 600 and 60 million $660 million, including the largest settlement in the department's history.
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award recovery in an employment discrimination case. secured $60 million as a part of a settlement to enforce the with disabilities act. last year alone, the civil rights division of the department of justice opened 43 new voting rights cases, more than twice the number that -- than any previous year am a dirty additional objections to the discrimination voting practices under section five of the voting rights act. all this has been done with devastating reductions in the department budget that i will
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put in the record. which course, sequester, further aggravates this problem. the cuts willt effect our first responders, fewer cases brought to court, fewer police officers on the street, your resources dedicated to keeping our citizens safe. so, i look forward to you leveraging on those issues raised by the chairman of the committee, and myself, and i suspect that you will be more than five minutes to do so. i thank you, mr. chairman. i returned my time. >> i think the gentleman for his opening statement. without objection, other opening statements will be made part of the record. the gerald the authorized to declare during votes on the house floor.
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we again thank our only witness, the attorney general of the united states for joining us today. if you would please rise, i will begin by swearing un. -- swearing you in. do you swear the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth truth, so help you god? let the record reflect that mr. holder responded in the affirmative. nine,ruary 3, 2000 general holder was sworn in as the 82nd attorney general of the united states. he has enjoyed a long career in both the public and the private sectors, first joining the department of justice or the attorney general's honors program in 1976.
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he became one of the department's first attorney to serve in the of integrity sector. he served as a judge in the superior court of the district of columbia, and the united state's attorney for the district of columbia. in 19 77, he was named president clinton to be the deputy attorney general. he was a litigation partner at the covington and birmingham law firm in washington. he is a graduate of columbia university, and columbia school of law. we appreciate your presence today, and look forward to your testimony. he your entire written statement will be written into the record. we ask that you summarize your testimony in five minutes. as close toeciate that mark is you can keep. the time is yours. >> good morning, chairman
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goodlatte; ranking member conyers; and distinguished members of the committee. i appreciate this opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the justice department's recent achievements, to provide an overview of our top priorities, and to join with you in advancing our important ongoing work. particularly in recent years, the department has taken critical steps to prevent and combat violent crime, to confront national security threats, to ensure the civil rights of everyone in this country, and to safeguard the most vulnerable members of our society. thanks to the extraordinary efforts of my colleagues -- the nearly 116,000 dedicated men and women who serve in justice department offices around the world -- i'm pleased to report that we've established a remarkable record of progress in expanding our nation's founding promise of equal justice under law, and ensuring the safety and security of our citizens. the need to continue these efforts -- and to remain vigilant against a range of evolving threats -- was brought into sharp focus last month, in the most shocking of ways, when a cowardly terrorist attack in boston left three innocent
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people dead and hundreds injured. in the days that followed -- thanks to the valor of state and local police, the dedication of federal law enforcement and intelligence officials, and the cooperation of members of the public -- those suspected of carrying out this terrorist act were identified. one suspect died following a shootout with police and the other has been brought into custody and charged in federal court with using a weapon of mass destruction. three others have been charged in connection with the investigation of this case, which is active and ongoing. as we continue working to achieve justice on behalf of the ordinary citizens and brave law enforcement officers who were injured or killed in connection with these tragic events -- and to hold accountable, to the fullest extent of the law, all who were responsible for this heinous attack -- i want to assure you that my colleagues and i are also committed to strengthening our broader national security efforts. over the past four years, we've identified, investigated, and
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disrupted multiple potential plots involving foreign terrorist organizations as well as homegrown extremists. we've secured convictions -- and tough sentences -- against numerous individuals for terrorism-related offenses. we've utilized essential intelligence-gathering and surveillance capabilities in a manner that's consistent with the rule of law, and with our most treasured values. beyond this work, my colleagues and i are enhancing our focus on a variety of emerging threats and persistent challenges -- from drug trafficking and transnational organized crime, to cyber-threats and human trafficking. we're moving to ensure robust enforcement of antitrust laws, to combat tax fraud schemes, and to safeguard the environment. we're building on the significant progress that's been made in identifying and thwarting financial and health carerelated fraud crimes. for example, in fy 2012, our
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fraud detection and enforcement efforts resulted in the record- breaking recovery and return of roughly $4.2 billion. over the last three fiscal years alone -- thanks to the president's financial fraud enforcement task force and its federal, state, and local partners -- we have filed nearly 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 14,500 defendants, including more than 2,900 mortgage fraud defendants. as these actions prove, our resolve to protect consumers and seek justice against any who would take advantage of their fellow citizens has never been stronger. the same can be said of the department's vigorous commitment to the enforcement of key civil rights protections. since 2009, this commitment has led our civil rights division to file more criminal civil rights cases than ever before -- including record numbers of human trafficking cases. using new tools and authorities,
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including the matthew shepard and james byrd, jr. hate crimes prevention act, we've improved our ability to safeguard our civil rights and pursue justice for those who are victimized because of their gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. we will continue working to guarantee that -- in our workplaces and military bases; in our housing and lending markets; in our schools and places of worship; in our immigrant communities and our voting booths -- the rights of all americans are protected. but all of this is only the beginning. as we look toward the future, my colleagues and i are also determined to work closely with members of congress to secure essential legislative changes -- including commonsense steps to prevent and reduce gun violence, and comprehensive legislation to fix our nation's broken immigration system. it's long past time to allow the estimated 11 million individuals who are here in an undocumented
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status to step out of the shadows, to guarantee that all are playing by the same rules, and to require responsibility from everyone -- both undocumented workers and those who hire them. like many of you, i am encouraged to see that these basic principles are reflected in the bipartisan reform proposal that is currently being considered by the senate. the department will do all it can to help strengthen that proposal, and to advance a constructive, responsible dialogue on this issue. i understand that this committee and other members are working on immigration reform proposals as well, and i look forward to working with you as those efforts move forward to enact comprehensive reforms. however, i must note that our capacity to continue building upon the department's recent progress is threatened by the long-term consequences of budget sequestration and joint committee reductions, which will worsen in fiscal year 2014, unless congress adopts a balanced deficit reduction plan.
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should congress fail to do so, i fear that these reductions will undermine our ability to deliver justice for millions of americans, and to keep essential public safety professionals on the job. we cannot allow this to happen. this morning, i ask for your support in preventing these cuts and ensuring that the department has the resources it needs to fulfill its critical missions. i thank you, once again, for the chance to discuss our current efforts with you today. and i would be happy to answer ici questions you may have. did not make my five minutes. >> your consideration was good. you were close. we thank you for your opening statement. we will proceed with questions under the five-minute rule. i will recognize myself or five minutes. you in fact addressed in your remarks my first question, which deals with the troubling
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information that was received by the fbi, and other agencies of the government prior to the boston marathon bombings, but it does not appear the information was received by all of the pertinent parties, particularly the fbi, which i conducted an investigation prior to the trip to russia. but not after. we would like to continue to work with you and know what the department is doing to adopt procedures for handling hits and relevant databases and making sure the information between agencies is improved. we survey want to work with you in that regard. there is an ongoing investigation as you know. i think generally the fbi did a good job in acquiring information to the extent that it could. i am not certain that all of the
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responses, request that were made to the foreign country by the fbi were replied to. i think that is one of the problems that we have. this is a matter that is ongoing. >> in 2010, this relates to the aftermath of the arrest of -- you indicated strong support for moderating the rules so invesco does cu -- specifically you said in 2010, we are now dealing with international terrorists, and i think that we have to think about modifying the rules that interrogators have, and coming up with something that is flexible, and is more consistent with the threat that we now face. can you articulate how the department would fix the relevant rules, and would you be willing to work with members of the committee to ensure that our criminal roles are up to the task of handling terrorist questions, particularly this issue of how long the fbi or
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other law-enforcement in question somebody about imminent threats. kate is a supreme court's recognizing that, but it collides with another. that causes confirmation about the completion of the questioning by future events, other conspirators, and the location of bombs another booklet relator did -- equivalent related to this task. >> there is a tension between the public safety exception as defined in the rule five of the credit rules of terminal procedures. there was a proposal that we floated out there, that i talked about, that i would prefer to do is work with members of congress who are interested in looking at the world as we have seen it now. the case that with somebody that -- where is the kind question mark the reity is that we deal with terror suspects that are much more
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broad questions that we need to ask, information you need to know. who was involved in this matter? are there explosive devices that we need to know about? threats that are going to happen three or next two or days? we need for an expensive -- would be appropriate. s somethings require that would pass constitutional muster. >> it was reported by the justice department obtained two months of telephone records of more than 20 reporters and editors with the associated press, including both work and personal phone lines. there is a lot of criticism raise about the scope of this investigation, including why the department needed to subpoena records for 20 people over a link the two month. why was such a broad scope approved? .> a lot of criticism
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the rnc called my resignations by the fact that i was not personally involved in that decision. may, i was recused in that manner. issue the decision to subpoena made by the people who were presently involved in the case, matters being supervised by the deputy itinerary -- attorney general. -- i am sadly not a part of the case. >> it is my understanding that the requirements for compelling process from a media outlet is to give the outlook notice. do you know know why that was not done? >> there are exceptions to the rule. i do not know with regard to this particular case why that was our was not done. i do not have a factual basis to answer that question.
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>> it is reported that the associated press refrain from leasing this story for a week until the department and from the but doing so would not justify -- jeopardize national security interest. then the case the ap was amenable to working with you on this matter. that was the case, why was it necessary to subpoena the records? did you seek the assistance in the first place question mark why not? >> i do not know. i do not know what happened there with reactions between the ap and the justice department. i was recused from the case. >> you or others in the justice department will be forthcoming with those answers to those questions as you explore why this was handled with what appears to be contrary to the law in standard procedure. >> again, there are exceptions to some of the rules that you pointed out. i have faith in the people who actually were responsible for
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this case three they were aware of the roles, and they follow them. i do not have a factual basis to answer the questions because i was recused. i do not know what has happened in this matter. >> thank you. my time has expired. and i recognize the gentleman from michigan, mr. conyers. >> thank you. i note that some of our members have been outspoken about the opposition to the free flow of information act. and have commented publicly about their outrage over the associated press subpoenas. but now, im very delighted to learn that many have changed their attitudes. i'm particularly glad to welcome
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the support of chairman's -- chairman darrell issa as we move forward with this legislation. mr. attorney general, there has been criticism about tom perez as attorney -- assistant , and that heral may have mismanaged employees at the civil rights division in the department of justice. are you able to comment on mr. 's track -- mr. perez record of the division, an allegation that he politicized enforcement of civil rights laws? >> i think that tom perez has been an outstanding assistant attorney general for the civil rights division. he will be a great secretary of
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labor. there has been reports done that looked at the cans -- civil rights division. reports, issued in 2008, and those findings are really important. the enforcement of voting rights laws during the administration is not based on improper racial or political considerations. the hiring practices were not politically motivated. no basis to believe that the voting section politicizes. there have been indications that people in the voting section in particular have not gotten along with these others too well. i think if you look at tom perez's record, the record
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number of cases brought against police department that acted inappropriately, record amounts of money recovered industry nation sues, voting rights cases, he has done a we expect of a person who would have the civil rights division, which i think is the conscience of the justice department. he has done an outstanding job, and deserves to be confirmed as secretary of labor. >> there has been a lot of tooussion about banks being big to prosecute. i would like to -- i think this is critical. much of the sagging economy that we are climbing out of is a direct result of wall street intransigence. and, perhaps, improper conduct an activity.
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can you distinguish between cases that we might bring ,gainst those on wall street who cause the financial crisis, responsible in a large part, have we fashioned the economic system in which we have banks that are too big to prosecute, the department of justice has got to look at this very carefully. >> limit makes a been clear -- let me make something clear. i made a statement in a senate hearing that i think has been misconstrued. i said it was difficult at times to bring cases against large uninsured institutions because the potential consequences that they would have on the financial system. let me make it very clear that there is no bank, no institution, no individual who cannot be investigated and prosecuted by the united states
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department of justice. as i indicated, we have brought thousands of financial cases over the cast -- past years. there are number of factors which take into consideration. let me be very clear. jail.are not too big to if we can prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, those cases will be brought. >> thank you, very much. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from wisconsin, and -- for five minutes. >> thank you for coming. i would like to try to pin down who all that often arise these subpoenas.
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the cfr is pretty specific. subpoenas per media -- did the debbie terry -- the deputy attorney do that? >> i assume he did. the recusal's are such that i do not have -- the attorney general has to authorize the subpoena in my absence. deputy a teenager out general would act as the acting attorney general. >> do you know if he is interviewed in the investigation that has caused your refusal? .> i do not know i do not know. i assume he was. i do not know. >> why were you interviewed? are you a witness or was this a part of your official duties as attorney general? >> i was inte people who lack ao the information that was a
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subject of the investigation. i along with other members of the national security division recused myself. the head of the security division was left. we all recused ourselves. i recused myself because i thought it would be inappropriate, and have a bad appearance to be a person who was a witness in the case, actually leave the investigation given the fact that i have a great interaction with members of the press. >> how does that make you a witness if you are getting the word -- product that are looking into a matter? on would be a policy person deciding whether or not to proceed with subpoenas, or ultimately signing off on indictment. a i may possess her, i was
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possessor of the that was ultimately lead to. the question is, who of those people who possess that information come up relatively limited number of people, who of those people actually spoke in an inappropriate way to members of the associated press. >> who else had access to the information? >> this is an ongoing investigation. i would not want to reveal what i know. i do not know if there are other people who of been developed as possible recipients. >> i am trying to find out who authorized the subpoena. you cannot tell me that the attorney general authorize the subpoena. somebody has to authorize the subpoena. ass was supposed to go close to the top as possible. >> what i am saying is, i cannot say as a matter of fact. i have to assume, and i would
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probably 95% certain, the deputy attorney general acting in my stead was the one who authorized the subpoena. core of federal regulations is specific that there should be negotiations prior to the issuance of the subpoena with the news media organizations involved. the apa said there is no negotiations at all. there are two different parts of the regulation that may be in conflict with each other. one is more generic than the other. there were no negotiations whatsoever. why were there negotiations? >> i do not know. there are exceptions to that rule that said if the integrity of the investigation might be impacted him of the negotiations -- i do not know why that didn't happen. >> hasn't somebody said that the integrity of the investigation would not be impacted with negotiations,
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either under subsection c, which is generic, or subsection d, which is more specific? >> i do not know. let me say this, we have in fact confirmed that the deputy was one who authorized the subpoena. >> we are going to have to talk about this. thinktorney general, i that this committee has been frustrated for at least the last 2.5 years, if not the last 4.5 years. there doesn't seem to be any acceptance of responsibility in the justice department for things that have gone wrong. , and suggest that you maybe mr. cole and a few other people, go to the gym in my brain take the picture of the thing that he had on his death, that said the book -- the buck stops here. we do not know where the buck stops very i think to do adequate oversight, with better find out, and find how this happened. i yield back.
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>> i think the gentleman. the chair recognizes the general from new york. the ranking amber on the subcommittee unconstitutional and -- the making member. >> i want to speak to three subjects in the time that i have. i have no doubt that we have already been hearing much about the department of justice probe ap records. we should with this in confidence or member that less than a year ago, this committee leadership demanded investigation into leaks accusing the administration of organ sharing those leaks. then, members of this committee wanted to report subpoenas put in front of grand juries, and put -- and gel for contemporary of course it is now --jailed fo.
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they should not distract us from legitimate questions where these congressional oversight, including whether the espionage lyt has been inappropriate use, whether there is a need for a rest yield, and congress surveillance authority and immunity that some of my republican colleagues supported in the -- before today and have been unwilling to re-examine. those are questions we have to examine. to switch topics, this was brought up already. the committee has engaged in a relentless unfounded and grossly unfair attack on the leadership of tom perez.
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i would like to give you an opportunity to address two questions. first, can you comment on assistant attorney general's background briefly. likes he has been an outstanding head of the civil rights division. you look at the giants of the department in that regard, you think of john doerr. i think 50 years from now people will look back on tom perez as -- and compare them to someone john doerr. >> thank you. my colleagues have mentioned that john perez has a dubious bargain, whereby he convince the city to withdraw its appeal, and agree not to intervene in a false claims act against the city. opinion is that the assistant tourney general did
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nothing wrong, and appropriately carried out his duties as the stewardess of the civil rights division, and that it was senior career officials in the civil division who overruled junior career officials in the civil rights -- civil division, caseuled that that claims was a bad case, a weak case, and that the department should not -- although they did not prevent the complainant to continue, and that there was nothing inappropriate into them not making a decision because hard wass, bad facts -- anything inappropriate done in this matter? >> i do not think so. the city reached out consideration was given to the actions that were taken.
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he consulted with the ethical people he consulted with ethical people within the ethical rights division to make sure it reaction to his proposing were ethically sound. what was done was in the best interest of the people of the united states. >> thank you. ,ith respect to guantánamo there are restrictions on the administration with respect to .etainees still being held what actions can the president take on his own to ensure that we bring these individuals to justice through trial or find a way -- find another way? i take it that it is wrong and unworthy of the united states to grab individuals that we believe to be terrorist and never try themndthit is wrong te indefinitely for life without
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any charges. and in fact come especially since any of them have been declared by our own government to post no risk. to avoid theo situation where without any claim of right at all, the u.s. indefinitely holds people in jail with no do trust us and no trout with no due process and due processwith no and with no trial? >> we should lowe's guatemala. there are steps the administration -- we should close guantánamo. there are steps administration can take. we had a situation in yemen at the time. that is something we need to review. we need to revitalize efforts
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to get the representatives to go to different countries. find alternative laces for places for people when their own countries will not accept them. looking at guantánamo and making a determination to see who can be released and who needs to be tried and who needs to be held under the law of order. great jobve set up a in that regard. have been made difficult, but not impossible to move people out of guantánamo. the resident has indicated we will take new action in that regard. >> the time has expired. the juror -- chair would note that the committee has requested the appearance of the assistant attorney general and head of the civil rights division. mr. perez did testify and answer
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numerous questions that have been post about his activities. he has refused the committee's request. the chair recognizes the gentleman from north carolina for five minutes. >> thank you. good to have you on the hill today. i want to visit benghazi for a moment. some recent days ago, the former secretary of state hillary clinton appeared at a senate hearing. she was asked about her, and concerning -- she was asked about her comment concerning the libyan tragedy. she responded, what difference does it make? i went to the house floor in early february. clinton andre mrs. makes a difference to the fourvors and the americans who were killed that
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day in benghazi. having said that, mr. attorney general, can you give us an update on where the fbi's investigation of benghazi stands today? otherannot be definitive than to say the investigation is ongoing. we are at a point where we have definitive that are and concrete. repairede repaired -- -- prepared to review all we have done. >> thank you. last month, mr. attorney general, the wake of the boston bombings, you warned against retaliation against muslims and other groups. can you share with us specific giving this warning
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and actual instances of retaliation linked to boston for which the department was not aware? we have seen in the past where people who perceived as muslims might not have been and you were attacked as a result of incidents that might have happened. the statement i was making was simply for people not to let emotions, stereotypical actions come into play and so people who are muslim received to be muslim might somehow be physically harmed. >> thank you. -- myhifting of gears visibility is blocked -- i like to see you and you see me increase are responding -- when
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we are responding. i forgot what i was going to ask. it will come back to me. well, maybe it won't. [laughter] i still have time. i will try to get through here. this is decision and north carolina retroactively applied .ood result in released felons members of my staff have been in touch with members of your staff. do you have a comment on this? we can getbe together substantively. if you -- are you familiar with this? >> yes. it depends on the prior conviction. we know it is only a his demeanor and it has cause the
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systems of problems -- only a misdemeanor and it has caused some problems. we have to balance a notion of fundamental fairness and protection of the public from people who are really dangerous. we want to look at the facts and determine what lease is warranted and the ability to perhaps work with you and members of your staff in this regard. it would he something approach it. i think it is essentially a law enforcement matter, but some gardens -- some guidance you have in this regard would be appreciated. >> the exchange between your staff and mine has been favorable. thank you. mr. chairman, i hope you would note that the red light has not yet appeared in i am yielding back. the gentleman from virginia, mr. scott. >> thank you. internal revenue situation, i think we can all agree that the congress report
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says that they were denying people their proper allegation considering their -- this bipartisan agreement that you should not be able to do that, it you said there is a criminal investigation. there are criminal laws against denial of civil rights back in 1983. there is a specific irs code that says any officer or employee of the u.s. acting in connection with any pricking of the law in the u.s. who with an intent to defeat application of any provision of this title failed to perform duties of his office or employment -- it goes on to show if you violate this, it is a five-year finally -- penalty. any gaps in the code that will make it difficult to you to pursue criminal actions if you
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find that irs agents were denying benefits under the tax code based on politics question mark >> -- politics? >> that is a good question. i think we're going to have to get into the investigation for i can answer that question more intelligently. --re are enforcement gaps if there are enforcement gaps found, we will let this committee now. it was outrageous, as i have said. if we have to bring criminal to make sure that one of activity does not happen again. under the fair sentencing
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act, we went from 100-118 under the differential [indiscernible] is the department of justice reviewing incentives? >> we are looking at -- i have put together a working group to look at exactly who we have present in our bureau of prisons. make sure we are holding the appropriate people for lengths of links -- time and see if there are any changes we need to make. i think we are above the age of 80 in the federal prison system. i have about 35 over the age of 85. there might be good reasons why they should serve the rest of their lives in jail. you might be that there is a basis for them to be released -- it also might be that there is a basis for them to be released. we are looking at what our prison population looks like. whether policies should be changed.
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perhaps compassionate release and how we should use that. we can save money by releasing people a little before their time. we would only do so without endangering the public safety. we're looking at in a broad way. >> thank you. since 1965, you could not discriminate based on race, .olor, creed, or sex there is a new idea that some kind of exemptions are awarded allows some faith-based organizations to discriminate based on religion with federal money. how do you decide who can discriminate with federal money based on religion? >> i think what we want to try to do is make sure that no inappropriate discrimination occurs. we have talked about this since before i was sworn in. >> there is discrimination going on.
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question in.e more the effects of the sequester on the judicial ranch, public defenders, and other core personnel are being furloughed. what effect does that have on the administration of justice customer >> -- administration justice? >> that is a good question. they have asked me to be their voice. judges do not get a chance to speak in the way that i do. as we consider this whole problem come it is a problem of sequestration. we take into account the impact it has on our courts. we want to have the court system that we need to have due process criminal cases. if you want to assess people for .robation and incarceration
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the court have to have sufficient funds to do so. and are in a very bad way regress to the scituate that exist now and the situation that will exist in 2014. thinking of the sequester, everyone needs to remember the court system. >> the time has expired. the chair recognizes the former chairman of the committee, the gentleman from texas, mr. smith. >> thank you, mr. chairman. attorney general. we have announced a full investigation into the allegation that irs had unfairly targeted conservative organizations. i'm sure that you agree that in the federal government, the federal government targets individuals or organizations because of their political leaning that it is a threat to our democracy and quite a violation of an individual or organization's first amendment rights. involving four cities --
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cincinnati, d.c, and two california cities where irs agents might have targeted conservative groups. it so happens a year ago i wrote the commissioner of the irs asking him to look into what appeared to be targeted actions by the irs against the san antonio departed. is your investigation going to go beyond cincinnati and ohio? will it be a national investigation that includes washington, d.c. as well and any allegations where they might occur? >> yes, it would. facts will take us wherever they take us. it is not just one city. we will go wherever the facts lead us. >> you will go nationwide? >> this is something we will in washington.
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that way we can have a better impact nationwide. >> without saying whether any criminal laws have it broken, what are some possible criminal laws that would have been violated if in fact individuals or organizations work targeted for their conservative views? >> i think it was congressman scott who put his finger on it for the potential civil rights. >> do you know of any criminal laws that might have been violated? >> criminal violations in the civil rights statutes of the irs, there is a possibility of thousands of false statements and violations that might have given at least at this point. crime toes it a
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deprive anyone of rights or privileges for anything guaranteed under the constitution. the mixing a crime for government employees to deprive taxpayers of their honest services. a couple of examples. what civil discourse might be obtained by individuals or organizations that were unfairly targeted for the conservative the lease? >> of that, -- conservative beliefs? >> of that, i'm not sure. >> i think it is possible they might be able to collect any expenses they incurred. does that sound likely to you? >> it is possible. in other instances where someone has tried a crumb the case and has been acquitted, they can get the costs back in time. to ast 2-d responded letter that i wrote wrote to you last year and regard to the anti-lobbying act that was amended in 2002. you have said in your response to me that the act prohibits the
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use of appropriated funds to influence officials of any government. does that apply to health and grantees whos might use those dollars to lobby state and local officials yucca -- officials? >> ansar. . i didn't hear the last part. -- i'm sorry. i did not hear the last part. >> you responded to my letter in regards to the anti-lobbying act which was amended in 2002. he said the use of inappropriate my question to you, does your statement and evaluation of anti-lobbying act apply to health and human services grantees who might have used those dollars to lobby state and local governments? >> i think you might be
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referring to what i have only read in the newspapers. i do not know whether or not which funds are being used are whether that letter would apply to the effort. i do not know. >> can you get that to me? to me as tot back why you think it should not apply to health and human government agencies that might use it tos that would lobby local and state? >> we will try to get back to you any more timely fashion. >> that would be appreciated. thank you. >> the gentleman from north carolina. >> their say.
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you. than k >> you're only supposed to do that at your confirmation hearing, bringing your kids. [laughter] i just have a question regarding intellectual property. the administration has called upon congress to make illegal and should be sure my streaming a felon. describe what has been done to combat copyright infringement and how would classifying streaming as a felony enhance the department's efforts in this area? lookingnk what we are for is an extended set of tools so we can have the prosecution and an effort consistent with the nature. al it does now is to have
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misdemeanor charge. sometimes these crimes involve thousands and potentially dollars for a felony prosecution might be appropriate. they're not saying we should don't have a felony capability, but we should have a capable -- capability that we could take into account the nature of the crimes are looking at. >> according to world customs organization's, international sales of counterfeit goods is a multibillion dollar industry. many of the sales increasingly made over the internet where criminals can hide their identities -- sounds]king [laughter] criminals can hide their identities and eluted capture. -- elude capture. what steps has the department posed by these illicit
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sales? what steps has department made to educate the public on the safety and security risk posed by illicit sales of internet theft property? see., i that is a problem we have tried to focus on in terms of educational efforts. , angelae medicines sharkey stolen, that puts the property is public at risk. we have found some airplanes that were inappropriately made. what we try to do is educate the public and businesses about the dangers that flow from the theft of intellectual property. increasing indications of
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links between this problem and terrorism? have you found any links? >> yes. that is a good question. it is something that is very worrisome. we saw organized crime get into a variety of businesses in order .o support their efforts forcing terrorist groups get into the theft of intellectual are seeing we terrorist groups getting into the theft of intellectual property. it means that we have to broaden our enforcement efforts and the theed efforts to examine efforts to pull our engaging in this intellectual property theft. we need to consider whether there is a terrorist connection. that is a relatively new phenomenon. one that we need to be aware of. >> are there steps that would
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recommend that congress can consider to check the growth of this industry? >> yes. there is something i think we need to work with members with this committee and congress on. i'm concerned about the theft of intellectual authority to support terrorist act to the. in those instances, enhanced penalties might be appropriate. that is something that we can consider. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the baby thanks you. we yield our time. >> and very effective questioning. this is my grandson for everyone's information. and a crowd grandfather --
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proud grandfather. this was a tone at the top. it was incorporated by reference in the dodd frank. believe the same rigorous standards of conduct and enforcement should be applied to public and private entities? do you think the government should be held accountable to a separate set of standards and corporations? osha standards for the same? >> -- or do you think standards should be the same? >> the public trust should be involved as opposed to private interest. should apply to all levels of those of us who serve in government. >> the person at that top in a
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business, and i think it would apply to government as well am a even if he or she did not necessarily know what the people under him or her was up to and be held accountable under -- for example, even if they did not know what the people under them are doing all the time, this administration currently has at least three scandals swirling around it. one is misleading the american people on benghazi. number two is the irs discriminating and targeting conservative groups for special treatment. , seizing phone records of the associated press reporters. calling it are scandal. i think all three probably are.
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weekthe story broke last about the conservative groups being targeted by the irs and given special treatment, word was spun by the administration that this was out in cincinnati and not in washington. i happen to represent cincinnati in the united states congress. i have 417 of the last 19 years -- i have for the 17 of the last 19 years. i know you're not the secretary of the treasury. you know an awful lot of stuff. i assume that you are aware that cincinnati handles exempt organizations all across the country and not just in the local area. do you know that? >> i'm not aware that. we are at the beginning of the investigation. i'm not sure how irs is constructed.
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i will take you at your word. >> ok. you're not at the conclusion -- you still have a lot to learn. do you think this was some low level irs workers who decided to harass or examine with great scrutiny conservative groups, tea party organized nations, 9/12 groups, 912 groups -- groups? groups that were concerned that the government was too pigpen too intrusive? instrusive?nd too -- do you think these were some low level folks? do not know at this stage. we have just begun the investigation. it will take time to determine exactly who was involved.
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this whole notion of these groups, i think some inquiry into that area is appropriate, but it has to be done in a way that does not depend on the political persuasion of the group. whoet me ask you this -- doesn't cincinnati irs officer -- who does that cincinnati irs officer into do? >> i assume the folks in washington. i will conclude because i am almost out of time. i believe there has been a pattern by this administration in not taking responsibility for failures and avoiding blame and pointing the finger at somebody else. would you agree with that? >> no. i thought you might say that. i think a lot of people do, including myself.
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a lot of members on this committee might be divided. these are very significant things that have occurred. i strongly encourage this administration to get out front and let all of the chips fall where they may. that is in the best interest of the administration. i yield back my time. partagree with the last of the statement. it is why i ordered the investigation last friday. it seemed to me that there was a need for a review given the potential from investigation that the justice department needed to be ahead of this matter. i can assure you and the american people that we will view. dispassionate this will not be about parties or ideological persuasions. anyone who broke the law will be held accountable. >> the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california for five minutes. >> thank you. thank you, mr. attorney general, for your presence today. i want to return to the issue
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.f the freedom of the press there was a quote of federal regulations. i would like to read the ,eginning of that section because freedom of the press can be no broader than the freedom of reporters to investigate and .eport the news the power the government should not be used in such a way that it in pairs the reporters responsibility to cover as broadly as possible controversial public issues. this policy statement is thus intended to provide protection to the news media from forms of compulsory process whether civil or criminal which might impair the newsgathering function. i'd be less there are exceptions. recused yourself.
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it seems clear that the actions of the department have in fact in. the first amendment. reporters who might have previously believed that a confidential source would speak to them would no longer have that level of confidence. those confidential sources are in theng to be chilled relationship with the press. whether or not this impairment of the first amendment was in fact justified by the criminal case, before you is not you can discuss in a public forum. but i still cannot understand youer one why and how
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recused yourself. may be no subpoena issued to any member of the news media or for that telephone toll records of anyone of the news media without the express authorization of the eternally -- the attorney general. did you give that in writing to mr. cole? >> i do not think there is anything in writing with regards to my recusal. >> but what about the requirement in the code of you -- was thatproving authority given to mr. cole? >> he does become the acting attorney general. orcould you explain again maybe you can't. let me ask a hypothetical. i realize you cannot talk about
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this case. that theseions say be obtainedld not in a compulsory manner unless there should be a negotiation with the news media unless it would impair negotiations. has gotten animes opinion piece today expressing their concern, how could this be the fact? the records, the telephone would not disappear if ap were notified. thatould ever be the case the availability of this
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information would be impaired? >> this is both an ongoing matter about which i know nothing. i'm not in the position to answer that question. here is what i think -- i do think at the conclusion of this matter and when i can be back involved in it, given the attention that has generated as some kind of after action analysis would be appropriate, i would pledged to this committee and the american people that i will engage in such an analysis. but that would be after the case is done and when i can appropriately be involved. >> i think that is good. i wonder if we might also have mr. cole come before the committee since he is the one who knows this information. i did not low -- know how long this will go on. in the position to tell us.
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it seems seems to me the damage done to a free press is substantial and will continue until corrective action is taken. i would hope that we might be able to further pursue this and get some clarification on future action either through legislative efforts or through further revision of the regulation by the administration. i think this is a very serious matter that concerns all of us no matter our party or affiliation. back.ld the committee would definitely be interested in the appearance of the uppity attorney general to answer questions regarding this matter -- the deputy attorney general to answer questions regarding this matter. recognizes the man
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from alabama. ands deputy cole willing able to appear before this committee and answer questions that you cannot answer? >> i'm sure he would be willing to. i'm not sure if you would be in a position to answer questions because he would be answering questions regarding an ongoing matter. will you urge him to make himself available? make that a priority? >> i will convey to him the desire that is expressed here today. i will cost to the committee that asking the lead prosecutor about a matter that is ongoing puts them in -- >> answer this. tore is a very high bar subpoena a member of the press because the retribution and they fear retribution, you're supposo explore and negotiate.
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we're are not aware of any negotiations. you're supposed to try all alternative sources. let me ask you this -- on what day did you recuse yourself? >> i'm not sure. i think beginning toward the matter. the beginning of the matter. an enoughhat sort of -- and unacceptable procedure? that you would not formally? statute says that attorney general should approve a subpoena. somedn't there have been memorandum? there is no memorandum. no e-mail. when you recused yourself, was it in writing or orally? alert theinly did not white house. >> who did you recuse yourself
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to? do you not do that formally or in writing? >> no. >> you did not see any reason for a formal memorandum? that way we win know the time and date of your recusal? -- we would know the time and date of your recusal? >> i have recused myself in the matter. >> don't you think it would be best practice to -- that recusal. >> i guess it would be helpful. >> it would be helpful. you do not remember when you excuse yourself. was it before the subpoena? >> i do not know when the subpoena was issued. >> it could've been after the subpoena? >> i certainly excused myself
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before the subpoena was issued. >> you had knowledge that there was going to be an investigation? >> i appointed people to lead the investigation. i appointed two good u.s. attorneys. >> have there been any discussions of the press involvement? >> the president's involvement? >> the press's involvement. you are aware that there was an investigation into the leak of the press at the time. >> a leak of the president? >> a leak to the press. i'm sorry, my southern accent. [laughter] that was the basis of the
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investigation. >> you know that the time of the statue that authorized you and you alone to authorize subpoenas to take those actions. >> sure. >> you could've anticipated there would be a subpoena to the press. >> not necessarily. the investigations that are done for him wear interaction with the press does not occur. alternative measures and negotiations with the press -- the discussion of subpoenaing the press and the time the subpoenas were issued, what time was that? >> i don't know. >> no idea? >> i excuse myself early in the matter. they do not have to report back to washington. >> at what point did you inform
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that they were investigating the press? >> my guess would be the white house found out by reading the newspapers. or watching television. >> a time of the gentleman has expired. >> thank you. >> the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from texas for five minutes. i think it is worthy to put on the record that is not enough time to be able to engage on some very important issues, but i want to take a moment of my time to be able to say thank you to the general or one of the most passionate and driven efforts of the department of justice. we are well aware of it in texas, which is the effort of the department of justice to increase the number of human
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trafficking prosecutions. where the epicenter of human trafficking in houston. i want to cite my local officials and the human and toking task force indicate to you as a ranking member of the border security that the chairman and myself will be embracing that topic. hopefully you can join in on the efforts. i appreciate that. i hope this is an ongoing effort. >> it is. for thisriority attorney general and administration. clinton was a big leader in this. i think secretary kerry will be as all. do have a local and state connection for us to be affect. this is an international crime. can thanko much we you for and your years of service. that should be noted when you come before a committee and
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having the response village uphold the laws of this nation. i have some serious questions. they are sort of yes or no answers. i appreciate your cooperation. let me start with the tragedy of the boston marathon. there is no doubt we have all mourned. those who have responsibility of the committee to not point the fingers, but can i ask you, as investigate,d fbi not to reject the concept that it is important to connect the dots. as you review it, you will hold those responsible in terms of however you address it. connect the dots. >> that is vitally important. that is why the inspector inquirys a prairie --
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is important. i think we will really have a good sense of who had what information and when and whether it was properly disputed. >> thank you. i asked that we have a full hearing on that topic alone intobecause that was put the 9/11 report. misty for acknowledging that. i think that is important. i want to move to the irs reports. the inspector general gave a number of recommendations. if i am reading it clearly, i wanted to be on the record that one of them was to finalize actions and better document reasons. we have all made statements. my point is that i understand as a president has directed secretary of treasury to act that you have also taken to a higher level of the criminal
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investigation. can you put that on the record? i want to make their you have not taken this lightly. this is a auto criminal investigation. -- and this a federal criminal investigation. >> that is correct. >> any limits on that? you're letting it free flow and fall where it may be? >> the facts will take us wherever they take us. >> and testimony, you were asked about the protection of the press. my recollection is that you said you supported. is that the case now? >> it was when i testified your my confirmation and something i think we should pass. attorney general coal -- cole -- >> no objection. the letter will be made part of
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the record. in order to get information before receiving as they did, however, will we be able to believe that the justice department still holds the protection of the first amendment in high esteem? i have other questions. >> putting that case aside, it is ongoing. the justice department has rules and regulations that will be followed. >> mr. chairman -- >> the gentleman's time has expired. the chair advises that we have 28 more members awaiting the opportunity to ask questions. the attorney general will be generous at this time, but he have an obligation later today. >> i thank the gentleman for his answers. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. >> thank you. i want to start by saying a --
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playing a short recording. hey, this is tom perez. i'm calling you at 9:00. the main thing i wanted to ask you, i spoke to folks from the civil division yesterday. i wanted to make sure that the memo was resent to the civil division. ofdoesn't make any mention two cases that are under review. that was the thing i wanted to talk to about. just about ready to rock and roll. me a call.
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i wanted to confirm that you got this message and you're able to look good stuff over to the civil division. >> thank you. that recording from earlier reports of tom perez, one of your deputies, arranging for something that has to be -- do youas part of think it is appropriate for someone at a federal level to try to keep information that would discuss what is going on? >> i definitely agree with that characterization. i'm not intimately familiar with all that has happened in connection with the inquiries that have -- >> let's go through a hypothetical that is easier. you have had a case that will 180 million. people dollars. we have another case you do not want to go to the u.s. supreme court. you traded those two cases
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because you do not want to have that happen and then you tell someone, would like to keep things quiet? is that right or wrong? variety ofe a reasons of why we as a government at the justice department decide not to become involved in certain cases. to call her a case you do not want going to the supreme court? that is the real question here. -- >> i will take that as a yes. >> i need a yes or no before you go into a long dialogue or otherwise i'm wasting my time. there is a trade of $180 million worth of revenue to the american eagle in return for dropping a case that your --tice department to drop to the american people in return
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for dropping a case that the justice department dropped. that decisions are bad law. i understand you do not want things going to the supreme court. let's go through where we are today. --the decision not to take did not end the case. >> you may say that, but the plaintiff did not see it that way. i do not think it worked out well, as i understand it. it was not simply because -- >> but it is going to the u.s. supreme court was over. going to the supreme court was over as a result. >> the decision was made not to pursue that case. >> ok. american people were denied the highest court considering a case. that is an undeniable fact. >> that is incorrect. >> we will let the people
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decide whether or not they were denied a supreme court decision. mr. attorney general, tom perez falsely stated to our committee that he he had non-then to then three then many e-mails that violated an act. you're office only yesterday or today allowed us to see the to and from on these e-mails. we have not seen the content. in saying the to and from -- >> i also have an inquiry. >> the gentleman from california will suspend. say that ilike to have been on this committee for more than i would like to count. heard a recording.
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a hearing about mr. tom perez or -- >> the gentlewoman will suspend. >> has a notice been given notice about a recording? will suspend.oman there is no requirement under the rules of the committee that a member cannot use evidence before the committee as part of the hearing. >> if i could clarify for the gentlelady -- >> i would be happy for the gentleman to do so. >> that recording is a piece of evidence that came from the attorney general's. i would hope playing back his own evidence would not be unreasonable. >> if i could continue -- anthe gentlewoman has inquiry. that is all. the gentleman from california has the time. >> i understand. are you saying that evidence can be presented, but the
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question i asked that this recording to be play? >> there is no requirement under the rules of the committee that a witness before the committee be given evidence or notice of evidence that may be presented to the witness at the hearing. >> containing my further inquiry, has this been authenticated as the actual true voice or individual who is identified? >> at the gentlelady would yield. tom perez has owned up to this being his voice. >> if i may -- >> the gentlewoman has not stated a valid inquiry. is she will suspend, did the gentleman from california will be recognized for the remainder of his questioning. >> i would ask that have two minutes to conclude. >> the gentleman's time will be restored to two minutes. >> the point of order is that
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mr. perez authenticated his voice. >> the gentlewoman will suspend. that is not a parliamentary inquiry. other]g over each the gentlewoman's point of order is not well taken. there is no such rule that would require this committee to treat this like we were in a trial. this is an opportunity for members of the committee on both sides of the out to ask questions of the witness. the gentleman from california will continue his line of questioning. >> thank you, mr. chairman. ourattorney general, investigators have seen 34 of the 35 submitted e-mails that violate federal records act. se but not the delivered content.
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they have not seen the remainder of the 1200 e-mails. thatnking member requested we have the full contents pursuant to a subpoena of all told hundred. william mcdonough available to the committee -- will you make them available to the committee? >> i will certainly look at their request. it is not something i have been personally involved with. i'm sure that must've been a good reason why the only to and from parts were -- >> yes. you do not want us to see the details. >> i will not stop talking now. , could yourman inform that witness the rules of this committee? it is unacceptable. it is shameful. >> the gentleman has the time and the gentleman may ask the questions that he deems appropriate. >> thank you, mr. chairman. one ofe-mail headers,
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them was for the domestic policy council. it was to the white house. we have not seen the content. -- more, another was to aolrtantly, it is to and account. to indications -- two communications -- we have learned that tom perez has yet another nongovernment account he uses for government use. in addition to his verizon account, he has another. would you agree to make these, all of these available? it violates the federal records act and your own rules. it is pursuant to a legitimate use of congress under which we would have it. lastly, because you asked for transparency, if you would
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place, in a case you have appointed a u.s. attorney. i'm sure he is a fine u.s. attorney. can he be considered an independent when in fact when does congress held you in contempt, he was individual who prosecutors and the case? can we believe he is in fact independent? mr. chairman, i would ask for regular order. >> we have regular order. the gentleman's time has expired. >> atomics by 45 seconds ago. -- it expired 45 seconds ago. frome contempt finding this congress, he made the determination of what he would do on his own. with regard to that e-mail if the requestk
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is for relevant e-mails that have something to do with the subject matter that you're looking at, that is certainly something that we should consider with regard to the entirety of this e-mail account. not sure what the number was if they have nothing to do with the matter at hand. not sure why they should be turned over. >> mr. chairman? a point of inquiry -- when congress issues a subpoena, is that it'setermined the decision of the recipient to determine what is relevant or that subpoenaing authority? >> that is a question beyond the scope of this hearing. >> we have many lawyers present. it is certainly the opinion of the chair that the subpoenaing party would
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determine the scope of inquiry. if the respondent does not agree, it would be appropriate for a court and the court would decide the appropriateness of that subpoena. it is disappointing that it had not been responded to and that hunger stunned it to take action that it took. the time of the gentleman has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from tennessee for five minutes. say thank, i want to you to the work of the civil rights division. capacityut accessible in seating arrangement and working on the juvenile court issue. they saw to it that the juvenile court would protect the rights of young people which was so necessary. i also want to say their sea for working with me and mr. scott and i -- i wanted to say thank you for working with me and mr. scott and i. thank you.
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i would like to question you about a few issues. theis he tried to get a lottery in his state, which i did in tennessee and i know how difficult it is. in so doing, he found himself in court and convicted and in jail, a case in which an unprecedented 113 former attorneys general, republican and democrat, have said his prosecution was a grave injustice. and numerous amount of legal experts have said it was a grave injustice and the prosecution should never have taken place because a u.s. attorney, a bush appointee, was the wife of the campaign manager of his opponent and while she recused yourself, she stayed involved.
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and know there are procedural issues but the president's could pardon him now. each day he is imprisoned in my opinion is a grave injustice. a man who had been with the state board pause before, it was politics. i would like to ask you if you are aware of the case, if you can assure me that you will review his case, because in my opinion and the opinion of 113 former attorneys general, an innocent man is in jail being deprived of his liberty. >> there are procedural issues. this is not eligible to apply for a pardon. commutation is not possible. i understand he has an active appeal. the regulations under , and those aree
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obviously problematic with regard to the relief that you are seeking. >> you do not believe that the president could issue a pardon now? the president has no limitations. but the president's pardon power is close to absolute, so i think that is right. i am talking about justice department regulations. if the head of your division that looks over these -- it is another bush appointee, is that not correct? he has been brought up by the ig and the ig and said he should be investigated because he gave false information on a partner request. he misstated what was the facts, and i want to know if he is under investigation and if you have looked into the suggestion about mr. rogers for misrepresenting information transmitted to the white house. >> there were some difficulties in connection about information relayed to the white house from
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the pardon attorney's office but i think corrective measures have been put in place of that kind of mistake would not occur in the future. >> i would hope not, sir. my concern is there is nothing more important than liberty, and taking your liberty is the most harsh thing the government can do to a person. we have taken the liberty of this gentleman, and i believe we need to look it that case. say it is amer ag's grave injustice, i think it needs to be looked at and try to be remedied. there are other cases. mr. scott brought it up. some of those people serve longer time than they would under the law now. the president could commute their sentences. one of the greatest threats to liberty has been the government taking people's liberty for things they are in favor of. the pure research group showed that 52% of americans think that marijuana should not be illegal, yet there are people in jail and the justice department continues to put people in jail for sale
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and use of marijuana. that is something the american public has finally caught up with. it has been an injustice for 40 years in this company to take people's liberty pause something that is similar to alcohol. you have continued what is allowing the mexican cartels power and the power to make money, ruined mexico, and hurt our country by having a prohibition in the late 20th and 21st century. this is the time to remedy this prohibition. i would hope you would do so. i know my time is almost gone. i would like to ask the chair for one brief moment to relax the gentleman's time has expired and we still have more than 24 members who have not asked questions of the attorney general. >> i yield back the balance of my time. but the chair would buy as members that they have additional questions -- i understand, i have additional questions, they can submit those
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to the committee in writing and we will submit all those to the attorney general so we can have the opportunity to respond to those as well. the chair recognizes the -- mr. forbes. until the department opened an investigation, then we say we cannot comment because we have investigations going. it has become the fifth amendment of politics for this administration. i want to ask you not about the ongoing investigation, but what you know currently today between law enforcement officers and the federal government. tyrone a picture of woods. his father gave it to me yesterday. he and three other americans were brutally murdered in benghazi. many people believe because we had an advocate response -- an adequate response.
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many are concerned with the manipulation of facts that took place after that. is this -- the administration has continued to say -- that there was nothing the secretary of state should recently have done to have prevented those murders, and certainly she has had no personal repercussions. this is an individual who was brutally murdered and sir were innocent mexican citizens because of fast and furious, which you have testified about here, and as far as i remember from your testimony, there's nothing you felt that you should recently have done to prevent those murders, and you suffered no personal repercussions from that. just a few months ago we had someone sitting right where you are sitting, the director of ice, after we had the release of 2000 illegal immigrant detainees, some of whom were being held for aggravated felonies, and we were basically
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told by the director that there was nothing that he should have recently done to stop that, and he had no personal repercussions. now we have all this stuff we are hearing from the internal revenue service where we see these atrocious actions, some against individuals who were simply teaching about the constitution and the bill of rights, and yet so far we have heard nothing from the administration about what they should have done to reasonably have stopped these atrocities, and certainly no personal repercussions yet. my question to you today is, based on what you know today, not ongoing investigations that ,e may never conclude or see just like you know today in any of these situations, is there anything you are aware of today that any of the heads of those departments or agencies should reasonably have done to have stopped the situations that i have just outlined that took place?
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that been gauzy is something that i am not as familiar with, but i am familiar with -- benghazi is not something i am familiar with but i am familiar with fast and furious. >> i am saying anything you should have done to have stopped them from taking place. it is too late afterwards. i am saying anything should have done beforehand. >> hindsight is always 20-20. i have to run an agency of 116,000 people, and we do it as best we can. when there are mistakes made, we told people karakul -- we hold people accountable and we change our. i have acknowledged that i am the head of the agency and i am ultimately responsible for that which happened in my agency. >> general, i appreciate the fact that we say i am responsible, but when irresponsible actions take place, nobody has any personal repercussions.
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in any of the situations, did any of those individuals have any personal repercussions from the actions that took place? i am talking about the head of the agency or the department. he did not have any personal repercussions, did you? >> i help people accountable. >> if you cannot say anything that you should have recently done, the secretary of state, the commissioners, the director should really have done, if there is no personal repercussions, shouldn't americans realize the only way we can stop these abuses from happening with the internal revenue service from this massive amount of data they are going to get onto the affordable health care act is to make sure that day and never gets to the internal revenue service in the first place? if it does in the abuse occurs, nobody is going to be held accountable at the top and workers say afterwards there is nothing we should reasonably have done to stop . legislation today to make sure
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the irs is not involved in our health-care decision and i hope we get it passed out of this house and the senate to make sure those abuses do not take place. with that i yield back. >> the chair now recognizes the gentleman from georgia, mr. johnson, for five minutes. the 80ral, the issue of investigation, or actually the investigation into the illegal disclosure of classified conduct thatto investigation, the justice department's at various tools, among which is the subpoena. if subpoenaed can be issued without judicial oversight, and it was through a subpoena that the justice department obtained carriercords from the
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that related to certain personnel at the associated press. is that correct? >> again, i assume that is correct. subpoena is what we know that the information was compiled from. has theice department lawful authority by way of subpoena power to obtain those records. is that correct? >> the justice department does have that, yes. glaxo is legal for the justice department to obtain that information, but it certainly could cast a cool breeze over the first amendment rights of freedom of speech and freedom of the press. that is why we have some special rules with respect to the issuance of subpoenas by law enforcement to obtain information from media sources.
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that is correct, isn't it a duck a >> again, without getting into the ap case, for lack of a as it term -- be that may, there is a recognition within the justice department that in dealing with, interacting with the press, you were acting with a special entity and there have to be special rules about how that interaction occurs. >> and those rules or by way of regulations, but not by way of legislation, correct? >> that is correct. >> that being the case, in my be a good thing for congress to visit that issue and to determine whether or not we want to turn those guidelines and regulations into law. importantn distinction. you said that the crime that is
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being investigated -- you didn't say this, but i will say this. it is not the publishing of the classified information, but it was actually the leaking of the classified information which is the basis of your investigation, correct? >> that is correct. >> but now we also have an old law that would allow the whoecution of anyone published the classified information. isn't that correct? >> you have a long way to go to try to prosecute people, the press, for the publication of the material. the sp notargue that act of 1917 bge the sbe espionage acthe of 1917 -- perhaps that is
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another area that we may need to take action on here in this congress. in this congress we have had a lot of bills, the most famous of which, in my mind, was the helium legislation. we wanted to ensure that we had enough helium to keep everything moving forward here in america, but we certainly need to of receiving individuals and the ability of the press to engage in its first amended responsibility, to be free and to give us information about our government so as to keep the people informed. i think it is a shame that we get caught up in so-called scandals and oversight of on
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important matters when we should be addressing these real problems that things like the ap scandal illustrates for us. i will yield the balance of my time to you. >> i would say this. with regard to potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure material, that is not something i have ever been involved in or heard of or with think would be a wise policy. in fact, my view is quite the opposite, that what i proposed during my confirmation, what the obama administration supported during 2009, and i understand senator schumer is now introducing a bill that we are going to support as well, that the press should have a shield law with regard to get their ability to gather inflation and t.sseminate i the focus should be on those who
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put the american people at risk, not reporters to gather this information. that should not be the focus of these investigations. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from iowa, mr. king, for five minutes. >> i thank you for your testimony here today. i have a number of curiosities remaining. one of them is this. are you aware of any plans or discussion of an effort to transfer one or more detainees to theogger for space united states for trial? air force base to the united states for trial? have there been any discussions of such a thing? are you aware of any case in the past for that has happened? >> i am ght people back or not.
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maybe i can get a written response from that, but i am not sure. >> perhaps i should say the afghanistan theater instead. with that change response? >> i am thinking cases we have brought people were -- who have committed acts overseas. i am not sure it was afghanistan. i just don't remember. bixby understand the concept of my question, out of the theater in the global war on terror? bagraom specifically with regard to afghanistan or that the order of work. you would assert that earlier not in discussions about transferring a detainee to the united states for trial? >> not that i am aware of as we speak. i would have to look into that and if i have a contrary answer to that i will get you something in writing.
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>> i would look back on past testimony before the committee. we have had a couple of discussions over the course of a couple of years. at that has unfolded before us, i would ask if you have read the new york times article dated april 25? i would offer the opportunity to comment on your review of that article. >> i think that the article missed a few things. there are steps we have in place to limit the amount of fraud that goes on there, both in terms of getting sworn statements from claimants from doing audits. there are a variety of things that we have in place to ensure that the kind of fraud that was described in that article -- i think the article made the fraud seem more widespread than it actually is. >> what about the surplus funds that remain yet apparently have been budgeted for the native
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american case about $400 million. " your recommendation be, to call that money back rather than distributed to locations that apparently don't have the ability to utilize that echo >> -- to utilize that? there is around $60 million and about $400 million that would be waiting to be distorted to organizations that are supportive of native americans. >> to the extent that these kind of organizations can be found, that is where the money should appropriately go. >> would not bring to your attention that if you cannot find a place to put the money, maybe there was not a level of discrimination to the level originally claimed? let me broaden the question a little bit inconsistent with the theme. before thismony very committee several years
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farmers the head of the organization that there were 18,000 black farmers. if one presume that 100% of them were discriminated against and we ended up with 96,000 claims and we have 15,000 plus payouts, and all these things are yet to be determined yet, totaling around 96,000 altogether. then we add garcia and love and we see this number grow to least billion. are you aware of a single perpetrator of discrimination -- they all would of had to be under the payroll of the usda. have you identified a single perpetrator of discrimination against minorities or female farmers, always under the payroll of the usda -- have you identified even 1? >> there were certain of basis for the payments.
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was a stipulation of the usda back in about 1996 when it began. >> there was a determination made, admissions made that in fact this kind of discrimination did occur. it was on that basis that the settlements were actually reached. >> did that as of the perpetrators of discrimination? should they not be dealt with? should there not be a means to try to identify the individuals that would allegedly commit that kind of discrimination? >> we are talking about discrimination that occurred many, many years ago in some instances. i am not sure that our limited resources would be well spent trying to identify those people as much as trying to make sure that people are compensated and these kind of actions do not occur in the future. but i yield back. thehe chair now recognizes gentleman from california for
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five minutes. >> -- the gentlewoman from california. ould like to focus on hate crimes and racial profiling. i ask unanimous consent to submit testimony regarding .racking hate crimes >> without objection, they will be made part of the record. >> last week and an elderly man dedicated to his faith and community was doing what he did every day, volunteering, when a man viciously attacked him. at 82 years old, he was beaten with an iron bar, pondering one of his lungs, fracturing his face, and breaking several ribs. this is only the latest in a string of attacks in recent years. sikh cab driver was a salted in sacramento, california. a state transit worker was a
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salted in new york city. a business owner were shot and injured in port orange, florida, work murdered in one of the worst attacks since the 1963 bombing of a baptist church. see, there is no current way to document hate crimes against sikhs on the form even though they continue to experience hate crimes that rates disproportionate to their population. according to surveys in york city and the san francisco bay area, approximately 10% of sikhs that have been subject to hate crimes. at fbione were to look dated today, it would be as hindus do notnd
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exist. we have asked for revisions to for 1699 and members of congress have signed onto this as well as the civil rights division and community relations service of the u.s. department of justice in support of revisions to form 1699. can you tell us what the status of this is so that hate crimes against these populations can finally be tracked? >> the department recommended to what is called the advisor policy board last year that the -- thaty beak amended it be amended to include those categories. the board is supposed to meet again next month where it will consider those potential changes before they make them to the fbi director. it would be my strong recommendation that the form be anti-ed so that captures
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violence. middle east >> i would also like to ask about racial profiling. immediately after the austin bombing, -- after the boston common, the first person avengers following the bombing was a saudi arabian student who was tackled by fellow bystander because, to them, he looked suspicious. he was questioned and a hospital after suffering severe burns from the bombing and had his apartment searched. but it turns out he was a victim of the bombing, not the perpetrator. we have also seen other instances of racial profiling by law enforcement at our nation's airport, at the border, at nypd, and other local and state law enforcement. existing guidelines were outlined in 2003. it does not apply to profiling
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based on religion or national origin. againstllowed profiling arab americans, american , andms, american sikhs immigrants. also does not apply to state and local law enforcement. it lacks a meaningful enforcement mechanism. this guidance for racial profiling has not been updated in a decade. i know you are reviewing this guidance, but what is the status of your review, and when will you issue a new guidance to prohibit profiling based on religion and national origin and address my other concerns? >> racial or ethnic profiling is simply not good law enforcement. if you look at al qaeda, what they try to do is find people they identify as having clean our to try to get past intelligence and security apparatus. the policy is under review. i had a meeting as recently as
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the week before last. we are at the end stages of their review process and i would expect we will have with the product of that process is in a relatively short time. this is something that is actively under review that i have been personally involved in. >> thank you, and i yield back. >> the chair now recognizes the gentleman from arizona, the chairman on the subcommittee of constitution and civil justice, for five minutes. >> general, we art but to have you here today. i am going to shift gears and be a little bit philosophical and reflect on the notion as to why we are really all here today, while we are all here really in this place. the granded earlier, ole was symbolic of what we hope to protect in the future.
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i have a little boy at home, four years old, and i think it is important that we keep a statesman's eye on the future and recognize all the politics that are inevitable with the challenges we face. we need to keep an eye on why we are all here. this notion of america that all of us are created equal, all are god's children and should be protected. it is a pretty important thing. i notice the nation's chief law- enforcement officer, i know that occurred to you as well. it seems to contrast produce significantly with what we have heard in the last few months about a guy named kermit gosnell, who ran an abortion clinic and aborted late term babies. they survived, he would proceed to cut their spine with scissors. went, we don't know are going to ask ourselves is that is too remote really are.
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i suppose the unique thing about it is that is not all that you need. while we might sanitize the clinics and other places, about 18,000 babies a year at 20 weeks or older are boarded in this country. 44,000 abortions survivors are living in the country today. this is not as unique as it might be, though we might sanitize the clinics in the future, i don't know how we can sanitize the horror and humor -- inhumanity that is forced on these little babies. a first question would be along the lines of where is our president on this subject, but unfortunately, already know that answer. he voted against the born alive equal protection act when he was in his home state several times. so i already know where he is. the question today is, as a law enforcement officer, we have passed the born alive infant
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protection act on the federal level. says remind you that there was a lady named ashley baldwin that work with the -- and she described one of these babies who was breathing. she described him around two feet long. because of the process didn't have eyes, and has no eyes or mouth. it making a screeching noise. she says it sounded like an alien. sometimes i just wonder if we really could back up as a whatty and ask ourselves we can do to change our minds on some of these tragedies. my question to you, it is a sincere question, i hope you take it so, in 2002, congress enacted the born alive protection act.
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it provides that all federal protections from your office or persons applied to every infant born alive. act you enforce the infant as attorney general question will you consider carefully what is happening in clinics across the country like what happened at the clinic he ran? >> i share the concerns that you talked about. i am a father. i have three kids. interestingly, i am a -- i'm married to an gynecologist. i have a responsibility to enforce all the laws. lex have you ever enforce this law? >> i do not know. we go back to this? back to that.
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hammy prosecutions there've been under that law. >> there has been 18,000 opportunities. i am wondering if you have enforce it once. >> i do not know whether there was enforcement during the bush administration or the obama administration since the passage of the law. i do not know the statistics. mantra so i hear the often that this is choice breeds to stand by in silence while the most helpless of all children are dismembered day iter day, year after year, is a heartless disgrace that can be described by vocabulary of man. i hope he considers that carefully. >> the chair thanks the gentleman for his line of questioning.
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and it recognizes the german from florida. >> in today's hearing, some of my colleagues have brought you the news of the irs engaged in allegedly improper targeting of certain groups based on the political persuasions. revelation is disturbing because any bias by the irs is outrageous. it is absolutely imperative that those responsible are held accountable. however, my hope is that this inquiry into potential criminal activity would generate another policy debate that this scandal beckons us to have here in congress. a debate that we need to have, whether there are too many groups across the political spectrum that improperly seek taxes -- tax-exempt status claiming they are social where for groups. the number of groups applying
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for this tax-exempt status has more than doubled since 2010. over 139,000 139,000, up from 2000 the before. that is because the so-called social life organizations do not have to disclose their donors. a still maintain their status, even if they write huge checks to super packs. in 2012, when it record $1.2 billion was spent to influence the election, and a quarter of that money cannot be traced to any source, the evidence shows that many of the -- are being established to funnel money to super packs. the irs should not automatically accept all applications for tax-exempt status from groups established for the expose the political purposes. as part of the investigation, part of the discussion, we need to know whether the tax-exempt
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status of any c4, whenever the politics, was denied a vote not because of politics, but because of brick -- ripping off tax payers. the american people should be outraged that employees would scrutinize specific groups based on political foliation's. constituentst my are outraged that they are subsidizing tax rates for the makers of the militia super pack adds that poison our airwaves. the american people were disgusted by these ads, but to think that these ads may have been subsidized by the american taxpayers, that i would suggest is a scandal. after the decision 's gideon, our nation
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indigent defense system is in crisis. the current code in which the doj has remedies for a pattern or practices of conduct that violates the constitutional or federal regulation of children in the juvenile justice system can provide important tools to encourage reforms that protect the right to cancel for indigent adults as well. you are aware that in december of last year, a landmark settlement was reached that will lead to major reforms in the juvenile justice court system. agreement was reached with the county and will implement many of the principles of a public defense system to assure that a system is in place that will protect the council of children
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in the juvenile justice system. on april 26, the department -- the juvenile court of memphis responded to the report by beginning to voluntarily into reports of their system and indicating they would correctly violations in the reports, and i want to commend you and your staff for all of the hard work in this case, to a sure constitutional rights for juveniles is protected. in this summit agreement, it was possible by exercising authority under the u.s. code. the department is conducting similar investigations and has found numerous violations in the juvenile system elsewhere. i would like to ask you, since the right touced cancel and taxpayer protection whether you think the
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effectiveness of the section for juveniles would also be helpful to provide the kind of action that was taken there to help adults. >> i think that your focus on this issue is right. your time is limited, but focusing on this question of indigent representation, juveniles and adults, especially 50 years after ddn, is what we should be about. it is something i try to focus on. the legislation we are talking about it on the i would like to work with you on. the need is there. with regard to the first part of your question, the whole question of these c4's, i hope we are going to be aggressive, and we will let the facts take us where they may, with regard
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to the potential problems that existed at the irs. i think that should not detract us as a nation from asking that broader question that you raise, and made irrespective of your ideological bent. conservative, republican, and immigrant, the use of the tax code in the way that it is used is something that we've need to ask ourselves about, and i hope we are going to do in our criminal investigation will have a chilling effect on asking that question about 501(c) fours. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. gomer for five minutes. >> thank you. we have talked about this before. i want to bring it up again. the foundation trial that
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occurred in dallas, convictions in 2008, there were boxes of documents that were provided to the people that were convicted of being supportive of terrorism. i would like to ask agn, for congress to be allowed to have copies of the same things the people supporting terrorism got before they were convicted. will you provide those documents without us having to go through a formal subpoena process? >> yes. i have this note here. i asked the question. we did in fact -- those offers were made public in the case grade we never heard from your staff to make those arrangements. we will make them available to you. i would have your staff contact my. >> will work that out. you mentioned that the fbi did a good job in following up the lead from the russians about --
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do you know what questions the fbi agents asked to determine that he wasn't a threat? >> i do not know the specific questions. >> do you know if they asked who is -- who his favorite islamic writer was question mark are they allowed to ask those questions? > i know -- >> were they allowed to ask? with a lead to ask about the mosque he was attending at cambridge? to ask thoseowed questions? >> i knew a good deal about was asked of him in connection with the interaction that occurred, but that is potentially part of the ongoing case. that is why i'm hesitant. likes it is also in trying to determine how the fbi blew the
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opportunity to save people's lives by accepting the russian information, and following up on it. what we have dealt with, i shouldn't have been classified, the information being purged from fbi documents has been classified. i have reviewed the information. i am aware of what has been purged in the efforts to avoid offending anyone who is islamic. i am not concerned about offending anybody that wants to blow us up. but i am concerned about religious freedom, which is another topic. were you aware of the cambridge mosque where he was attending back at the time that the russian's gave us the? >> not that time. >> he was attending a mosque in cambridge.
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obviously if you are not sure about that, you would probably not have anybody provide you the organization papers for the islamic society of boston that was also the founder of the mosque in cambridge. a guy that i am sure you know is doing 23 years for being involved in terrorism, also work with the clinton administration back before he was arrested and convicted and sent to prison for 23 years. he started that mosque. what kind of follow-up was done on the mosque at cambridge? and the mosque at boston, were you had a convicted terrorist that was involved in the organizing? do you know what they did about it? >> at this point, what the fbi did in connection with the information they received was thorough. the questions of the inspector general. >> thorough is an opinion.
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you know specifically specifically about the mosque at cambridge who founded it, they terrorist founded it, the one that he attended. it sounds like from your answer that you fill satisfied it was thorough, but you do not really know what they looked at. let me move on. what my answer is that the fbi was thorough. there was problems that were not of the fbi is making with regard -- >> the fbi got a heads-up from russia that you have a radicalized terrorists on your hands. they should not have had to give anything else whatsoever. that should've been enough. because of political correctness, there was not a thorough enough examination of him to determine if this kid have been radicalized. with that -- that is the concern i have. go after christian groups like billy graham's group, we go after franklin graham said
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group. but they were hands-off when it comes to offending someone who has been radicalized as a terrorist. i appreciate the comment. there we will concerned about possible profiling. i will submit attorney general that there were a lot more people in america concerned about being blown up by terrorists. i regret my time has expired. >> let me say this. you made statements of matters of fact. >> you point out one thing that i -- >> the time has expired. i saiduld ask he said something as fact that he doesn't believe was. i would like to know specifically what it was that -- >> the gentleman from texas should suspend because the attorney general has the opportunity to answer the question once he has completed the question, the region one has a point of personal progress, he can exercise it. like the oxidation i was would
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make affect -- >> used is a matter fact with the fbi did did or not do. i'm let's summon has done something inappropriate, you do not have access to the fbi files. you do not know what the fbi did. you do not know what the fbi a direction was with the russians. you not know what questions were put to the russians, whether those questions were to. you simply do not know that. you have characterized the fbi as being not thorough, or taking exception to my characterization of being thorough. i know with the fbi did. you cannot know what i know. >> thank you, mr. chairman. that is simply the reason. i do not assert what they did or not do. i asserted -- someone challenge my character. -- if thetleman is gentleman leaves that he has a
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point of personal privilege, he can state it. >> i'm a current -- either point of personal privilege. i do not know -- the attorney general is wrong on the things that i asserted as fact. he has to understand the reason i asked questions specifically about what the individual was asked, so i could find out and the attorney general in -- sits there. >> we will sustain general order. [indiscernible] the gentleman from texas will suspend. the characterization of the answer is not appropriate exercise of the gentleman's right of personal privilege. the jenna mun will his statement and move on. >> the attorney general made
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statements that what i said was not true. when actually, the reverse is what happened. >> mr. chairman, regular order. >> when you attack somebody integrity, and say they made statements that were not true, then of course, that raises a point of personal privilege. the attorney general failed to answer my questions. [indiscernible] >> the gentleman is entitled to state a personal privilege. we will move on. he does not have a and opportunity to characterize the answer of the witness. theor the record,
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congressman could not know, unless something inappropriate is happening with regard to -- >> unless the attorney general answers my questions. >> he could not know the answers, there cannot be a basis for the a certain -- the assertions that he made unless he was provided information inappropriately from members of the fbi or people who were involved in the things that he questioned me about. i'm not saying that happen. >> he gentleman from texas and the attorney general have had their opportunity to clarify positions, and we will turn to the gentleman from california. >> on the begin by thanking the attorney general for your patience. it seems to me every couple of months we go through this exercise with you. i appreciate your patience. i have questions.
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one, i want to join others in expressing concern and condemning what i understand is the targeting of incentive groups by the irs. frankly it brought back memories from several years ago when i are amber liberals being targeted. i remember when african-american churches were targeted by the irs. it sent a chill through the community. i wanted to know if during that time, if an investigation was done, and what was the result? eerie inaware of any do not know what happened with regard to those matters. >> i think it would be interesting to find out. the way i hear it characterize, it would -- it was as if this was the first time the irs has done something like this. iran him or this happening to liberal groups. my second question is, if congress can passes the flee freef class -- flee --
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flow of information act. >> i am not familiar. with regard to our shield law, there are greater protections that would have been in place for members of the press. some have noted that there was the national security exception. i think that in the view of the administration, the shield law should be something that we work on together. we can craft a national security exception that would give the press adequate protection, while the same time keeping safe the american people. lex would happen to the steel law? to thehat happened shield law? >> it was never passed. i don't think he was seriously considered. but it was pushed. i talked about it in my confirmation hearings.
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the president was behind it. it was never passed. >> had an impasse, it would alleviate the situation that we just experienced? >> again, i'm recused my case. i think he would have had the potential to have an impact on all national security stories. >> switching subjects completely, talking about trafficking, the area that i am interested in working on. -- child buffer is -- child welfare. if anything isw being done at the federal level to ensure that youth designated as victims and juveniles in court are treated as victims as opposed to criminals. i wanted to know if given existing federal law included in the trafficking protection act, how can we look -- work with local jurisdiction to make sure that youth are not having
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records. >> we need to come up with mechanisms by which we identify best practices. [no audio] that toohe reality is many young people who are victimized in the way that you have described can be characterized as criminals, as prostitutes, when they are simply victims. you would hope that prosecutors would exercise appropriate discretion in charge. that is not always the case. as why the added evocation of actresses and raising since but did he -- sensitivity is so important. the federal government should take the lead in that, given that human trafficking generally is something that we have
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identified as a priority. the sex trafficking of minors is a priority. togetherwe can work in the future. no juvenile should ever be arrested for prostitution. i do not know you can prostitute if you are under the age of consent. that would be rate. many there is a libby can change it so that a child is never charged with that. >> i think i would look forward to that. there are going to be services that need to be made available to such a juvenile. that does not mean that juvenile should have to get -- be made part of the juvenile justice --tem with all the stata statement that is attached that to. >> absolutely. what is the office of juvenile justice dealing with the prevention doing to prevent foster youths from entering the justice system? i'm referring to what is known as crossover youth.
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rossingr youth, meaning from the dependency to delinquency system. what is the office of juvenile justice and their link prevention doing to prevent this? >> we are identifying best practices. we make grants. we talk about cutting back money. one of the things that it does so well is through conferences. it brings together people to talk about these kinds of issues. and you, with determinations as to what practices we are going to find. that is what it is doing in that regard. we always try to find best practices, again defying negative practices tarin, and to support those things that are in the best interest of our
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children. >> the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from ohio. >> you announced last friday a criminal investigation into the irs. allie have one question. will you a sure congress that your investigation will not indeed or slow the investigation congress is doing into the internal revenue service question mark we have heard you say today that we've lost track. how many times you said ongoing investigation. i would argue that investigation had no new at information to congress, and has only slowed down our investigation. witnesses will be in
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front of the oversight committee next wednesday on the irs issue. tonow for a fact she lied me. she let our personal staff. she liked to committee staff. she lied and correspondence that we had sent a written correspondence. here is what concerns me. when she comes in front of our committee for us to get information about what took place at the irs, issue one to drop her hands and say the attorney general's department is doing an investigation. i cannot comment. that is a concern that members of congress have. again, will you do everything you can, and what insurance is can you give you nice is congress that that is one to take place? >> i think the responsibility i
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have is to investigate violations of the law. what we will try to do is to work with congress so that we do not get in your way. you do not get in our way. >> the point is it has already happened. this is the big one. this is the first minute writing violent. it was a know what you are going to do different time. have all the credibility. there are folks on this panel, love call for resignation. -- love call three resignation. -- who have called for the resignation. >> your characterization by itself -- >> we want her to be able to respond. your characterization of her testimony in of itself, and the
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way you characterized it, could -- could put her in a very situation that you say you do not want to have happen. >> that is already out here. there is no news there. i wonder on the witness stand to be able to to answer our questions. why don't want her to do is say i can. -- i can't. , on the basis of what you say, say i cannot answer this question because you think i've already lie. there is a much stronger likelihood based on what you are doing that what i just said here. >> hours possibility is to investigate violations of the criminal law. we will do that. we will work with congress in a way that we do not indeed that which you want to do.
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there are certainly some role .or for congsso ay inng what had i think we have the ultimate responsibility and holding people accountable, that is uniquely the ability of the executive branch to do. not the legislative branch. >> i yield back. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from louisiana. >> thank you. answer these quick weight and stormy. -- answer these quick questions for me. is there any lawful way that anyone in congress could now what was asked and not asked by the fbi in the investigation before the boston bombing of those terrorists? >> there is no way that anybody could know that. >> earlier, a senior was made that -- a statement was made
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that the government were so worried about offending islamists, but they are not worried about offending any person that would bomb american -- america. >> it is a small minority of people who engage in these activities read -- activities. we are not politically correct in which we conduct our investigations. the cleft individuals. we do not go after it religion. , i was not 12 letter on the committee. but the points that struck me the most about the investigation into the leaks, which you have recused yourself, which some operations must be kept strictly secret, concern about these leaks knows no party line
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spray when national security secrets leak, become public knowledge, our people and interests are jeopardize. american lives are threatened. it goes on to say probably the leaks in america history. was that a call for the department of justice to do any and all things to ascertain where these leaks are coming from? >> i was criticized at that time for not appointing a special prosecutor. i said i had faith in the justice department and in the u.s. attorney like conducted. that that was this -- criticized as not being aggressive enough. it starts me as interesting now we are being criticized for being too aggressive.
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i do not know what happened with regard to the subpoena. there was certainly a call from many that the attorney general to do more than he actually did. >> there was a criticism that your subpoena was too broad. earlier today, you are challenge and criticize or the fact that you said you would answer to the appropriate things in a subpoena. answer to things that are relevant to the subpoena? ironythat be the same that you cannot have it both ways? >> it was interesting. you can subpoena anything. people have the right once they receive a subpoena to challenge that which they're called to
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produce pursuant to the subpoena. >> let me take a second to thank the civil rights division of your office, because earlier our chief ranking african-american on the louisiana supreme court, who ad the tenure and seniority process to get to chief judge, was challenged by other judges, and brought to court to challenge whether she could become chief justice. it was with the help of the civil rights division and other lawyers in louisiana that the federal judge ruled that she in fact did have the tenure. as long as we still have examples of that, and we have a justice department is willing to step up, even though it may not be popular, part of faith in the justice system is that plausibly apply equally to everybody. i like to close with, as ugly and nasty as fast and furious
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was, which i agree with, every day in my community, federal agents and others will use drug dealers as pawns to get the bigger drug deals. ,t is that crack or heroin going back and creating more crack babies and putting more kids in harms way, i have not heard the same appropriated while we're having an upper about people putting things back into communities to get the bigger fish, please don't forget the thousands of lives and murders every year associate with the drug trade. thank you. >> the chair recognizes the german from texas. -- the gentleman from texas. threeterday i sent you to pages of letters with questions on it.
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i know you haven't had time to go over those. i ask you now to introduce that letter with the questions for the attorney general into the record to be answered at some of part -- appropriate time. >> the questions will be submitted to the attorney general. >> let me approach this historically. i have two questions. over the last several years, government action has become suspect to many of us. government furious, action. we have resolved that yet. we stop and got a resolution on the issue that whether the subpoena should be upheld. people died in fast g on,
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and who was responsible for america's die. -- for the americas who died. their accusations of improper use of people in office of their position to obtain funds to support the new healthcare law. government action. , there phoneers records being sees, a bruise the first amendment to me. i felt that bill as well pray president obama supported in 2007. i hope we can get it past this time. ,he most recent is with the irs and west taken place with the irs but with other government agencies.
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the constituent of mine runs a business in houston. to get in god -- involved in voter fraud. here's what she said in a recent interview. we applied for a nonprofit status in 2010 three the irs has run us through a gauntlet of analysts, and hundreds of questions over and over again. they requested to see each and every tweet i've ever tweeted, or every facebook post i've ever posted. . we have asked to know every place i have ever spoken, and to whom and everywhere i intend to speak in the future. that is part of her comments.
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forirs has asked this group their donor list. the federal government snooping of their positions, including six this is from the fbi, unannounced visits by osha, and the atf showed up several times to investigate this organization. and, the ingle breaks have been personally audited. they have never seen an auditor until all this occurred. >> here we are today. i've requested over the years -- why they continuing to be treated like criminals? direct response -- the irs
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response, they have apologized. they want us to go away by their apology. meanwhile, back on the ranch, today usa today reported that only one tea party group has been given tax-exempt status. numerous groups of men given tax-exempt status in the lax -- last two or three years. not coincidence as far as i'm concerned. based on my experience, being at the courthouse, it just seems like government credibility, because these are government actions, not private actions,, don't you think it would be ,est that since now the fbi atf, which is under the justice department, are involved in some of these accusations of harassment, on equal protection under the law, targeting
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specific groups because of discrimination, those are the accusations. set theshould department aside and say we are going to get special prosecutors here to investigate these organizations to see if they are targeting specific conservative groups for their actions, and to see if there is a violation of law violations. i'm just asking you, do you think that would help risk for cleartore credibility to this error and find out what is going on in the government. the >> i would agree with your characterization of lack of credibility needed to the justice department or its components. >> i'm giving you my opinion that it lacks credibility and these departments because of the actions by the federal authority. as my opinion. >> that is fine. thoughl clinton --
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clinton won said the air of the government is over. you need for good government indoors. >> and just answer my question. out of time. do you think need a special prosecutor to prosecute these accusations? >> i think you need for good government and yours. people talk about how government and government agencies do these negative things. when it comes to sandy and wildfires and tornadoes and terrorism, then people want government there. that is my point. the notion that government has, or the just -- or the justice department has credibility problem. goodhe need for government. >> the gentleman will submit
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the question in writing. we will submit to the attorney general. the chair recognizes the gentleman from washington. >> thank you. thank you mr. attorney general for being here a man for your time. -- and for your time. the fbi believed it could obtain the contents of america's e- mails without a war if the e- mail percent -- e-mails were sent by third-party. you believe the government has a right to obtain a muscle that he wore it -- worn. -- warrant. isthe authority that we have defined. we have testified on behalf of
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of the justice department. how we update the abilities that -- the so that we are ability to conduct investigns as quick a chnology that we face.en the how would we apply rules that exist? with regard to obtaining information without court orders, i think that question that we wrestle with. >> today, this piece of paper, if i had a letter here, would require a warrant for somebody to have access. if it were digital, it may not require that. we are looking on if there should be a equal langfield, or if we need to update our law.
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that was written in 1986. before the technology that many folks use today was in place, do you believe it is important update that law to the way people work today and where medications were today so that we have those civil liberties protected in the digital world? >> absolutely. we have become more and more information society. we still have, and should excavations of privacy. at the same time, i want to make sure that law-enforcement any has the ability to acquire information, and how we strike that balance is important. it is one of the most important conversations that we can have in the 21st century. one that i think that this and ministration would like engage with congress on.
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that will meet somewhere in the middle. so we can maintain privacy while they are the same time maintaining the ability that law-enforcement has to have. >> there is legislation i cosponsored to update the electronic communication privacy act, and have a warrant for online communications, and for location permission of people have on their cell phone. we would love to have support from the department of justice and yourself on those reforms as he looked to update those -- as the look to update those communications act and have something more current. >> i know a bill has been introduced similar to that. it is something that i think the department will support. our only concern is with regard to making sure that in limited
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circumstances, we have the ability to acquire information. the general motion to have a warrant to have information from a service provider is something we support. >> the wort stander will be the same. in the current standard for communications, there are exceptions in emergencies and other cases. we are looking to have a similar understanding in the online world. >> that is what i was talking about with the limited circumstances where we want to make sure that we are maintaining the abilities. >> thank you. i yield back the remainder of my time. appreciate the brevity and recognizes the gentleman from utah. >> thank you. i appreciate you being here. i want to go back and talk about the investigation of general petraeus, which the fbi
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started in the may-june time frame. when did you learn about the investigation of the general? >> i'm not sure. some months after it began. >> the news report say that happened sometime in the summer. would that be a fair representation question or >> i think that is probably right. >> you know when general petraeus was notified that any sense that he was under investigation? >> i would have to go back and look. i do not know when he was actually made aware of it by -- as a result of an fbi interview i think. >> d of any idea of when he would have then aware of it? as to when a sense he became aware of it?
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>> we'll will be looking into it and get back to you. >> one of the criticisms here is that you knew about this in the summer, and yet when did you notify the director of the national intelligence? >> i don't remember when that happened. i knew about it for a while before he was notified. >> when was the president of united states notified? >> it was much later. i'm not exactly certain. late fall, early winter. >> i appreciate that. i'm asking you days. the concern here is that you, for months, based on that timeline, you know about it.
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you did notify the president of the united states. why is that? >> it was an ongoing criminal investigation. >> you do not think there was any intelligence lap question mark was there any national intelligence ramifications? >> on the basis on what we are -- were investigation. if we were looking at potentially compromising of general petraeus or would have led to a national security breach. lex according to the congressional research service, let me read it from the report in april. anle the affair is not intelligence activity, the investigation originate with the possible hacking of his e-mail account, an act that had the potential, rising intelligence. he was not the head of the fish
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and wildlife are this is the rector of central intelligence. why would you not shared with the president of the united states? >> as we talked about it, among us of the fbi, we do not think that we had a national security problem. why were you investigating? why was the fbi investigating? it is not just an extramarital affair? there certainly has to be some suspicion that there was a national intelligence implications. >> the investigation began because of complaints that one party made against another about the use of computers and threats. that is how the investigation -- >> but when it involves the director of the national central agents -- cia, this is him and that could have an effect on national security. i think we should have been told. thenot notify under the law
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proper authorities here in the united states congress, specifically the head of the intelligence community, and why not notify the president of united states? lex again, -- >> again, there is a strong tradition and concern within the justice department not to reveal ongoing criminal investigations. we were sensitive to the possibility of a national security concern. we do not think that one existed. >> why not share that with the present the nine states? i would think that is the one person who should absolutely know what is going on. there was a potential that the director of the cia had been compromise, that you are investigating, why not share that with president obama? >> because, we do not share ongoing criminal investigation. if you look back, and conclusions we reached were correct. we do not have a national security -- it is an ongoing
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investigation. but the time is expired. the time has expired. we recognize the gentleman from florida. >> thank y f here. thank you for your time today. thank you for your long and distinguished career. my first question, i know you answer some of this, made a less hostile environment will give you a chance to dazzle with your intelligence. ae majority here know mr. -- few weeks ago, we ascended ourselves and began a confirmation hearing for mr. perez. a duty and responsibility that was beyond the purview of my office. we participated. i would like to hear from you as someone who was worked with mr. perez in his capacity in your
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office, you could tell us about him and your view on him as labor secretary. >> he is uniquely qualified for this job, given hiexperice in maryland, in a similar position, given the way he has distinguished himself over a long and storied public service career. certainly with regard to the way he has conducted himself as assistant attorney general. he is a person who has the ability to see both sides of an issue. he is not a deal law but crashes on ideologue -- he is not an ideologue. he will distinguish himself if he is given the opportunity to become our next secretary of labor. >> thank you. i want to ask two more questions. one is on immigration. that the rulesnoticed
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that we have created have bound us in certain circumstances, and is limited the discretion of our judges, which are overworked, but sometimes do not legal ability, or the ability to resolve many cases which seem to be simple. if we could get your opinion on returning some of that the immigration judges. >> i agree with you. i served for five years as a judge. put a great deal of effort into finding people to serve on our courts. i think that they should have requisite amounts of discretion so that they can decide what justice is in a particular case prayed what justice for the -- justice and it take your case.
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within that range, judges should have discretion. of selectingjob who these people are pre-we should trust in their ability to use their discretion appropriately. >> let's stay on metro quick. then i will close with this. -- let's stay on metro quick. i want to ask you about the cuts of sequestration, and the impact that has had. dollarstive 50 million of immigration review. can you tell us about what impact that has had on an overburdened caseloads question mark has that led to prolonged detention, which adds a further burden to taxpayers question mark >> we have numbers here. there is, serious problems with
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regard to the whole question of sequestration. immigration docket has gone up every year. the resources that we need to bel with that rise has to dealt with. sequestration runs in the opposite direction, where we actually taking resources away from a growing problem. if you look at the immigration bill, there is contained within it a provision for an enhanced number of immigration judges. sequestration is something that is more than simply people getting on an airplane and getting to their destination in time. sequestration has negative impacts of a whole variety of areas that are my responsibility
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in the immigration, with regard to atf, fbi, agents having the ability to be on the streets and do things the american people expect. we have had problems in 2013. this storm has fewer people than it did in 2011. .his is going to have an impact you will see in two years from now lower numbers of the justice department. some attorney general will be criticized for that. it will be a function, not of lack of desire and dedication of a party people of this just are, because there are fewer of them. >> thank you pre-ipo i yield back the balance of my time. >> the gentleman from pennsylvania. >> is good to see you again. let's focus for a moment on the boston terrorists.
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while he was in the hospital, if you please. why were charges filed at that particular time instead of running the time or on the public exception of miranda? it was 16 hours and charges were filed. in the had to be filed hospital. a public defender was brought there. why at that time? who made the decision to file charges? >> lemay just talk about that case again. charges, there are rules that we have. the supreme court has said that you have 48 hours to bring charges. what we did there was to do things that are consistent with the rules, while at the same
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time at the same time using the public safety exception the best way we could. >> i do not want you to say anything that would jeopardize the prosecution. but there was time. you could still have used the public exception rule to allow the fbi to interrogate this individual before moran dies thing -- before mirandizing. do you agree? mirandizey did not because of the exception. but it seemed to me there was a rush to file the charges that would then force the magistrate to inform the defendant of his rights. why did you not let the time run longer? >> the charges were filed from , about 46f capture
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hours after that. >> but that is a benchmark, correct? i have read a case where it has been days where the exception has continued. was that discussed with the director? did he know prior to that that charges were going to be filed? >> we worked with the fbi, both in washington and in boston. everybody was aware. state and local folks as well. everybody was aware. >> why weren't state charges filed? then you would have more time to question before you had to file federal charges. as a former prosecutor, at the state and federal level, we use these tools to our advantage. >> after the bombing decision was made, i think correctly so,e got together and made a decision that this was going to be a federal matter, a federal investigation, with federal
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rules applying. i got into the justice department on cases where i not only recused myself but my entire office. you are in a different predicament here. but i always followed it up ath written documentation, letter saying why i was recusing myself, recusing my office. making sure there was a paper trail. are you saying there is no paper trail here when you recuse yourself, and for what reasons? isi do not think that something we were looking for. i am not sure somebody else raised that point during the course of this hearing. that might be a better policy to have. had the authority to appoint a special prosecutor,
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whether it is another sitting u.s. attorney or someone outside just it's completely. approval.e deputies's don't you think there is a conflict of interest? and some and all should be appointed to handle this matter? >> somebody other than the deputies should be handling this? >> yes. >> i made the determination and was criticized at the time for making the determination that the prosecutors, the u.s. attorneys in maryland, and the -- district of columbia could handle these in the fair and appropriate way. >> i will be the last guy to criticize you about a u.s. attorney handling the case. i know the caliber of people that work at justice. be that as it may, i see my time is expired. >> thank you. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york, mr. jeffries, for five minutes.
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>> thank you. mr. attorney general, thank you for your testimony here today, and thank you for your great service to this country. let me first note for the record my concern as it relates to the matter, the subpoenas issued that appeared to be overly broad in scope. hopefully that is something that the investigation taking place will examine with close scrutiny. second, i am troubled by the fact that the negotiation or consultation did not occur in advance of the decision to issue the subpoena. hopefully again that will be covered. you mentioned earlier today in your testimony that racial and ethnic profiling is not good law enforcement. i appreciate that. in new york city we are grappling with a very aggressive stop and frisk program administered by the nypd.
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many are concerned that african- americans and latinos are being racially profiled in these encounters. 3 you may know, more than million stop, question, and frisk encounters have occurred in the city of new york over the last decade. and approximately 90% of those individuals, more than 3 million stopped, questioned, and frisk, are black and tino -- black and latino citizens of the city of new york. are you familiar with that fact? >> yes. >> you're also familiar with the fact that according to the nypd's own own statistics, approximately 90% of individuals who possibly had their fourth amendment rights violated because they were stopped, questioned, and frisk without reasonable suspicion or any basis to conclude they presented a danger to anyone else, approximately 90% of individuals did nothing wrong.
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according to the nypd statistics. no guns, no drugs, no weapon, no contraband, no basis for the arrest or the encounter. are you familiar with that statistic? >> i have read that. i do not know the accuracy, but i have read that. >> that is the nypd's statistic. you participated in a meeting last year on june 7 with members of the congressional black caucus from new york city, as well as elected officials from many of the communities that were impacted. we are thankful you granted that meeting. at that meeting, there was a request that was made that the justice department look into what we believe is systematic racial profiling and violations of the fourth amendment taking place in new york city as a result of the aggressive stop and frisk program. all must a year has passed since that meeting took place. have you come to a conclusion as
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to whether it is appropriate for the justice department to look into the matter? >> we have not reached any final determinations, but this is something that is under review at the justice department. i hope we will be able to move this along. i know there is a civil servant from which they -- a civil suit from which a lot of information is coming out. but it is something, i said then, we are prepared to look at, something we are examining. >> as we approach the one-year anniversary of the meeting i would hope we can come to an expedited conclusion. but i appreciate the deliberateness and care with which, and the sensitivity taken toward this matter. i want to turn briefly to the irs issue. in 2000 four, george bush was the president, is that right? >> yes. >> he was in the midst of a very competitive reelection, correct? >> yes. >> in 2004, it was revealed that the irs went after the naacp for
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alleged political activity in violation of its status as a non-for profit organization. are you familiar with that fact? >> our member that. >> it was uncovered they had done nothing wrong. what was also determined as a result of a four-year request by the naacp was that seven members of the united states congress on the other side of the aisle have written letters to the irs requesting that the irs investigate the naacp. are you aware of that fact? >> i do not remember that. >> was a criminal investigation ever launched in connection with the alleged political interference that took place leading to an unsubstantiated investigation of the naacp? i know you are not at justice at the time. >> i do not believe so. >> but i am thankful you have taken the step to launch an investigation into similar allegations of alleged political interference, albeit not by members of congress.
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we look forward to the results of the inquiry. >> thank you. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from south carolina, the chairman of the immigration and border security subcommittee, for five minutes. >> good afternoon afternoon, mr. attorney general. do you think it is reasonable to evaluate how effectively prosecutors and law enforcement are using current firearms statutes as we debate whether or firearmsed additional statutes? >> that ought to be a factor. but i think we are using the laws effectively. >> i would have to take your word for it. i wrote you six months ago and asked for statistics, specifically on to code sections. they deal with, as you know, specifically with the possession or transfer of firearms by those who have been adjudicated mentally defective or committed to mental institutions. i wrote the letter in december
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thinking that, being a low notl house member was enough to garner attention, i got a senator to cosign the letter. we have not heard back. you agree that it is relevant how effectively those sections are being prosecuted as we evaluate whether or not we need additional tools? >> i think we should take into account all of what we are doing in terms of weapons prosecutions. 1/7 of all cases that we bring in the federal system are gun cases. >> what percentage of current areground check failures prosecuted? >> a much smaller number. there were 83,000 background check failures in fiscal year 2012. ,here were 85,000 cases brought a much smaller number of those failures were actually brought. the purpose of the background check system is to prevent people from acquiring guns.
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1.5 million have been stoppe since the beginning of the system. as opposed to the prosecutor -- prosecution. >> i understand that. i also understand something about a lack of jury appeal. i know certain cases do not have tremendous jury appeal. but when you are advocating for increased background checks, it can be argued you are not a good steward of current background checks that you have. i frankly think it undercuts the argument. reasonable minds can differ on that, i suppose. i do not think reasonable minds can differ on the codes that deal with people, not mine , "judge mentally defective or committed to a mental institution." if you search for a theme throughout lots of our mass killings, i think you'll find that theme. i want to read a quote that has been attributed to you. if it is inaccurate i would like to give you a chance to set it accurate. will nore whole thing. "creating a pathway to earn citizenship for the 11 million
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unauthorized immigrants in this country is essential. this is a matter of civil and human rights. ?s that an accurate quote >> i think that is a speech i gave at the antidiscrimination -- anti-datamation league. >> you would agree people who cannot pass background checks should not have the civil right, as you call it, of citizenship? >> i use that phrase, i did not use it in the strictly legal sense. >> with all due respect, that is the problem with using the phrase. you are a highly trained lawyer. you know what the phrase "civil rights" means. when you say you have a civil right to citizenship, when you have broken the law to come to the contrary, that has consequences. surely you have to know that. >> with all due respect, it was my speech. .hose were the words i chose
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i did not mean to convey, and i did not think it would be taken that way. some have said that -- many have not. that would mean there was a legal right or anything like that -- it was in the context of that phrase where i said civil and human rights. >> but you can understand how it is problematic for those of us frankly were working on immigration reform. to have the attorney general say you have a civil and human rights and citizenship even though you were in the country in violation of our laws. that is a non sequitur. it is hard for some of us to explain that. i do not know what you meant. i just know what you said. >> what i meant was you have 11 million undocumented people ,ere who are, we must admit contributing to this country in substantial ways but often times are exploited because they are
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in an undocumented status. 11 millionis, all are not valedictorians. that is why every bill has a background check provision. all the 11 million do not want citizenship. he called the human and civil rights, speaking for a broad group of 11 million, with all due respect it is not helpful to those of us who are trying to be part of the conversation. >> i did not mean to say by that that all 11 million either want to be citizens or will ultimately en masse as the bills have been crafted, and i think appropriately so,, will pass the necessary background checks. i am talking about the universe of people who we do have, 11 million, and from that 11 million, and i suspect it will be a large proportion of the 11 million, will pass background checks, will desire to become citizens, and will be entitled to the human rights that all americans have after they go
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period that allows them to require -- acquire citizenship along the pathway. >> now recognizing the gentleman from idaho, mr. labrador, for five minutes. >> good afternoon. one of your favorite phrases during this hearing and in many other hearings where i've heard you is "ongoing criminal investigations. heard you talk about best practices and proprieties. when you decided to recuse yourself, did you look at best practices? i think you admitted already it would be best practice for you to put in writing. there is already a statute that requires to put in writing your reason for recusal in certain circumstances. frankly, i read a couple times. i do not know if it applies to your situation right now. but don't you think it would
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have been the best practice for you to just put it in writing, especially when you are talking about an issue of such significance? >> as i said, i thought about it even th in the course of the lat couple hours. but i will go back and think about whether there is a policy that i ought to put in place, examine how often recusal's would happen in writing as opposed to orally, and i think the better practice, frankly -- >> you should look at the statute. i do not know if it applies to you, but you should look at whether it applies to you or not, or whether there is any other law that would have required you. >> the two things i have on my to do list. >> the second thing i want to talk about, we already discussed the targeting by the irs, admitting they targeted conservative groups. what you see today under oath that the department of justice under your watch has not targeted conservative groups
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for prosecution for political reasons or to gain political advantage? >> not to my knowledge. i have no knowledge that has ever occurred. >> do you know if the irs leaked tax information related to mitt romney during the public and presidential primary? >> i do not know. >> if you do not know, will you attempt to find out? in your investigation? -- to beot know honest, i do not remember that. >> there were several claims during the campaign that there was personal information from mitt romney's tax records that were being leaked to the press. i want to know if the irs was the one leaking the information. we also know some of mitt romney's top donors were targeted by the irs and the labor department, including a gentleman from idaho. soif why specifically were , who wereting money
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romney's top campaign donors, immediately after it became public how much money they had been donated the irs and labor department were looking at them. we have heard about numerous groups that were targeted that were conservative groups. can you tell me whether obama for america, organizers for america, occupy wall street, or any other progressive group has been targeted in the last three to four years by the irs? >> at the beginning of the investigation -- i do not know what, if any, groups were targeted. i am not in a position to say on the basis -- we are in the beginning stages of the investigation. it wasyou find out if only conservative? i think this is important. it is rather strange it is only one medical group and not the only -- not the other. can you find out for our committee? >> the investigation would be designed to find out which makes were looked at,
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sure if they were looked at that it was done on an appropriate basis. if the what -- if it was inappropriate, to hold people accountable. that will be done whether or not they are conservative or liberal, republican leaning or democratic leaning. >> if you will find out -- if you find that they were only conservative, can you find out why they were only conservative groups targeted? i will read you a quote that you stated about your contempt of congress from last year. in february of this year, you said, "i have to tell you that for me to be effective -- effected by what happened, i have to have respect for the people who voted in that way. and i did not, so it did not have a huge impact on the." think that shows contempt for the public and members of congress were here who voted for this? there were some democratic members of congress congress who also voted for contempt. winhe process that we
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through, that you all went through in making that content determination seemed inconsistent with both prior ,ractice and also inconsistent not taking into account the good-faith attempts we were making to try to share the information that was sought. i also thought it was telling that when the nra decided to score that vote, what was the involvement of the nra in that vote at all? it seemed to me, then, that this was something that was not about me -- it was about me, but was about things beyond just the exchange of documents. it was an attempt by certain people to get out this attorney general. , with regard said to that process, i simply did not and do not have respect for it. >> you say you do not have respect for the people who voted. i think that same contempt may have led to people in this
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administration thinking they could go after conservative sense conservative groups. -- conservatives and conservative groups. i yield back. >> i am not because of people in the irs doing things that may have been illegal. >> i'm not accusing you of that. i'm just saying that maybe that same statement in bold and people to think they could also go after other conservative groups. >> thank you very much. the chair yield to the gentleman from michigan. >> mr. chairman, i ask unanimous consent to insert into our record the statements of the lawyers' committee for civil rights under law. >> without objection, the document will be made part of the record. >> thank you. >> the chair would ask unanimous consent that a letter sent to attorney general holder on the matter, 2012 pertinent of involving former cia director
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formeretraeus signed by chairman lamar smith and containing 15 questions, which to our knowledge and the knowledge of former chairman smith have never been answered, we would ask the attorney general to again answer them. we will put those as part of the record and resubmit them to you. they were pertinent to this hearing, and i think the answers to those questions would be of interest to the members of the committee. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from texas -- gentlewoman fomrom texas. >> i was happy to wait for the end of the session. >> if you would like to do it now? >> very well. thechair recognizes gentleman from texas or five minutes. >> thank you. i am batting cleanup here. i would like to express my appreciation for mr. holder for
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sticking with us so long. i have a huge stack of questions. please keep your answers as short as possible. i think we have covered a lot about the irs and your investigation. did a reallyoe good job. i was appalled when the nixon administration did it. i am appalled that happened under this administration. you said you marked mr. cho poen as not a fan -- mr. down as not a fan of government. i hope he has his taxes in order. upon taking office, president obama directed the doj with a clear presumption that openness prevails. on march 19, you called for greater government transparency and a new era of open government. yet we had to resort to contempt of congress. you call the chairman issa
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shameless. i would like to give you the opportunity to give us the stuff we are asking for and be consistent with that transparency. would you please do it and be transparent? >> we went through mediation that the house republicans, as her member, did not want to do. we have tried to find ways in which we could share the requested information. >> we need the information. but i do have a lot questions. i will go on. let's move on to the justice department action with respect to the associated press. do you think the massive intrusion of the freedom of the press cost and intimidating and chilling effect on whistleblowers and confidential sources? what do you think of the editorial that said, these actions will not scare us or the ap, but could reveal sources and frighten confidential contacts vital to the coverage of government? >> i will answer separate and apart from the ongoing investigation. the justice department does not want to have its actions jill >> in a hypothetical situation, we are going to go after and subpoena hundreds of phone records for journalists. does that offend you as an american? >> it would depend on the facts. you would have to know what the facts were and why the actions were taken. >> you stated earlier that you recuse yourself from this because you were questioned about this investigation.
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-- chill sources or have a negative impact on the newsgathering capacities. >> targeting the media in such a broad fashion -- would that be a fair statement? >> i will not comment on investigation. any of youre if telephones were tapped or telephone records were subpoenaed? you were subject to the investigation as well. >> yes. some of my telephone records were examined. >> and other administrations as well. it seems to me the media ought to be the last resort. would you voluntarily turn them over, the phone records? >> i am not sure i remember. i voluntarily turned them over. >> there is a difference, obviously, between subpoena and -- that's good of benghazi for a second. the former chief in libya testified that as a result of the appearance of susan rice on various talk shows that the fbi, the president of libya was offended and delayed fbi access
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to the consulate in benghazi by 17 days. did you think this would have a negative effect on the fbi's investigation and ability to get to the bottom of what happened in benghazi? >> i am satisfied with the progress we have made in the investigation, regardless of what happened previously. we have made very, very, very substantial process -- progress in the investigation. >> not having access to an unsecured crime scene for 17 days, that has bound to have a negative impact. >> it has not had a negative impact on this investigation. >> there was a story today, media matters issued a defense the justice department's use of these subpoenas. are you still regularly consulting with media matters for spending your pr stories? we talked about that in an oversight hearing last year.
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>> i am not sure i know what you are talking about. -- i see i am out of time. i do not want to break the rules. >> mr. chairman? >> yes. >> if i could place, because of what the journal -- attorney general said, house republicans did not object to mediation. the attorney general -- the government position was that the judge did not have the ability to adjudicate this dispute at said it was premature to talk about settlement as to the actual document request until she made a determination that she would and could decide. >> could we have regular order? we are short of time. with all due respect to the distinguished german. >> i just think a case that affects the house and its ability to do its business needs to be properly defined.
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>> that is now part of the record. point well taken. it was information i just shared. this was apparently something the judge shared. let me stop there. >> the chair now recognizes the gentleman from north carolina for five minutes. .> it is good to see you during my tenure in the united states attorney's office i served with for attorney generals, including yourself. two years our service overlapped i always thought you were very supportive to our mission and north carolina and to law enforcement. that somewhat surprised about two hours ago you mentioned you spoke to the chief district judges here in washington. you gave a speech. in your comments, you
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of federalthe length prison sentences being handed out in some instances. although i do not have a text of the speech, maybe you can provide that text if you care. i did see that in april you made similar remarks to the national action network national action network among stating that too many people go to too many prisons and it -- disrespect for the system and are often counterproductive. candidly, i would expect to hear those remarks more from maybe the chief federal public defender rather than the chief federal law enforcement officer. of cases thatnds went through the eastern itrict of north carolina, can think of none that got a
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prison sentence that was too long. if you could elaborate just a bit on which criminals are you referring to that are getting too long a prison sentence in the federal system. >> my responsibility is larger than simply being the chief prosecutor. it seems to me that -- not just me. the office of the attorney general has a responsibility to the system. the observation or comments that i made in that national action network speech, i don't have a text. that was extemporaneous. what i feel, if you particularly look at people who got sentenced to long prison sentences in drug aces -- cases, more involving the weight of the drug than the person's role in the drug scheme. someone else made the same observation. i think that these mandatory minimum sentences that we see, particularly when it comes to
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drugs, i think are unnecessarily and don't actually go to -- purposes of deterrence >> you know as well as i do that by the time a defendant ends up in federal court, they usually have been through the state process numerous times. >> that is not always the case. >> it is predominantly the case. but they will have been for the state system numerous times. particularly in light of prosecuting felons in possession of firearms. north carolina in 2002, approximately 50 of those cases were ramped up to about 300 year and consistently did 300 a year. average prison sentences of approximately 10 years. his are cases in which you can do in a large number and has
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significant impact, not only a prison sentences but with deterrent value as well. i am concerned that the department of justice, under this administration, has slapped -- slacked off of making that a priority of prosecuting felons in possession of firearms. the numbersed that are following. i know the committee has asked 922, 924ecific numbers cases. i don't understand why it is taking so long to get them. unless you have changed the software in the last 20 months since i was a sitting u.s. attorney, you could have those statistics in a matter of minutes. , andhe numbers falling will you please produce the numbers to the committee as soon as you can you go >> we will provide you with those numbers. there has not been a policy thoseon to deemphasize
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cases. i think when it comes to the use of mandatory minimums, felony possession cases, that is a case where meant more -- mandatory minimums are appropriate. >> prosecution priorities in the department of justice under review right now? >> with regard to gun cases? >> the priorities of prosecutions in the department of justice, are the u.s. attorney these putting those under review right now through the ag ac? group working with them to look at our prosecution priorities, yes. >> will you keep the committee apprised of what you determine the priorities ought to be of the department of justice? >> i would be more than glad to have a dialogue in that regard. >> i yield back. >> the gentleman from georgia for five minutes. >> i appreciate you being here. the first time you and i have had a chance to talk. i have listened here. the advantages, you get to hear
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everybody else ask questions and hear your answers. your answers to me today have been enlightening in some ways and very discouraging and others. some of it is, you have said several times and i will go back to some of your statements today, you made quote when you are quoting ben president clinton talking about the era of big government being over. the problem i have here, i agree with you. government should be a limited form of government. the past week or so has shook the foundations of discussing the issue of limited government. when the understand this, and especially in your agency right now, as we look at this, you have set on a couple of you start about the role of the executive. that is what we are supposed to be doing. is that a fair statement? , i said that but i think i was saying it in reference to who -- >> i understand.
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the role of the executive, correct? >there is a role for congress, correct? >> i did not show up because i really wanted to -- >> that has been painfully obvious in the way you answered some of the questions. checks and is, balances. you come here and answer questions. oversight to have and budgetary control of what goes on and ask these questions. i made, and before, the people in district i'm from, people just want the truth areas they are frustrated that they don't get the truth and hear other issues coming up. threatening them in the sanctity of what they believe, the irs or for asues with reporters litany of issues we have talked about today. the question that i have, visiting the committee which is oversight that you come to,
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this may be the first and probably not the only time we will talk in this capacity, it concerns me the lack of preparation or perceived lack of preparation with which you come here today. it in writing, we have had this discussion about your recusal. your answer to that was, i don't think i put it in writing. i am not sure. did you not think those questions were going to be asked of you today? , youyou refused yourself do not think those would be asked today? >> i did not think one way or the other. >> you're kidding me. you come to this committee today with these issues like they are right now -- >> let me finish, congressman -- attorney general -- >> mr. chairman, you're rolling again on who can full-time? time is controlled by the gentleman from georgia.
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>> leverages answer the question. you control the time here. >> my question is this -- >> mr. chairman emma could the witness have a chance -- >> the witness will have a full opportunity to respond. a point.make the attorney general stayed here extra time to make sure that every one had a chance to ask a question. considering the fact that he is past his time, why can't he answer the question that is posed to him? >> you will get an opportunity to answer the question of soon as mr. collins finishes posing his questions and we will give him extra time after his time has expired as we have done for the attorney general on several occasions. >> majesty moment? >> i would appreciate it, i know that some of us have deep voices and sound like we are being unhappy, but i would appreciate a little stability in the question and -- questioning
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of the attorney general as we proceed to the conclusion. i yield back. >> the gentleman from georgia may proceed. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i have a simple question. it is amazing to me that the question was, did you not think that you would be asked about maybe the timeline of when you might have recused yourself. at one point, there were some questions in your own dialogue about when you actually did this. i'm just asking a simple the others on the other side got to ask their questions, i am not asking mine, did you not think someone on this panel would have asked her those questions? >> i did not know if they would ask me that question. irrespective of that, i thought it was an important fact and was one of the reasons why i asked my staff to find out, irrespective of what would happen here today. to find out whether or not there was in writing a recusal. i asked that myself, thinking it was important. i don't know what you are going to ask me. that is why i was saying, i did not know whether or not you
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would ask the question. i thought it was an important one and one that i put my staff. >> i do have one question on that regard. have you recused yourselfyo in ? >> i am not sure about that. and the holdings case, the edwards case, i recused myself in that matter. i recused myself in other cases because my former law firm was involved in those cases. i am not sure that those are in writing. one that has been raised, putting these things in writing might be a better practice. >> i appreciate your answers. this is an issue that needs -- just amazing -- >> point of order. >> the gentleman's time was interrupted considerably by debate over whether he was entitled to ask his question, so he can complete his question. >> i did not interrupt his question. i appreciate the opportunity to
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close. in your role and our role, i yield back. rolerespect the oversight that congress place. this is not always a pleasant experience. it is one that i recognize you go through as an executive branch officer. the one thing i have tried to do is always be respectful of the people who ask me questions. i do not think i have always been frankly treated with a great deal of respect. it is not even a personal thing. if you do not like me, that is one thing. i am the attorney general of the united states. i am certainly not referring to you or any of the questions you just asked. but i think that is something that is emblematic of the problem that we have in washington nowadays. it is almost a toxic partisan atmosphere here where basic levels of civility simply do not exist. we can have really serious partisan fights, disagreements about overwriting things, but i think people should have the
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ability, especially in this context, to treat one another with respect. i have tried to do that emma maybe i have not always been successful. i certainly know that i have not been treated in that way all the time. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida for five minute >> thank you. mr. attorney general, i am going to talk about credibility and accountability. i think this is something that is underneath all the issues we have been dealing with. as i understand your testimony, something that bothers me is, by your own admission, this is one of the most serious cases in the last 40 years. your comments yesterday, you said it put the american people at risk. as you testified today, you don't know when you recused yourself, you have no record of you reducing yourself, and you did not tell the white house that you recused yourself. that bothers me because, that explanation is insufficient and
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it insulates you and the president from any accountability about what happened. is this really the best you can do in terms of explaining what you did for one of the most serious cases you have ever seen in your professional life? >> with regard to the question of how recusal are memorialized, i think a written response would make a great deal of sense. the notion that i would share with the white house information about an ongoing criminal investigation is simply not something that i as attorney general, unless there is some kind of national security serious -- >> which there was, by your own admission. the american people at risk. >> we are talking about a limited group of people who had access to his information, some of whom were in the white house. the notion that i would share that information with the white house, i did not share this with people in the justice department. >> people in the justice department are not responsible for protecting american people.
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the president is. we just have a discipline on that. >> the justice department, we are responsible for protecting the american people. the americanrisk people. i understand understand they have duties to enforce the law. ultimately, the president is who we rely on. in terms of this internal revenue service issue, to you agree, your they have lawyer in the entire country, you are due respect for your office, do you knowledge the irs is part of the treasury department and is accountable to the president and it is not an independent agency? ,> i technically, i don't know i have heard it is an independent agency. there is some reporting responsibility. how that is defined, i don't know. >> you have been in law for four years, one of the most competent terms of positions you have had and you don't know whether the irs is a part of treasury, whether the commissioner is responsive to the president or whether it is considered an
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independent agency. you really don't know the difference? understand it is a part of the treasury department. the irs commissioner is independent, but is appointed by the president to a fixed term -- >> can be removed at the will of the president? brent employees -- >> it is not an independent agency, right? >> i am not sure where you're going with this question. if you are trying to go with the irs did into the white house, that not going to work. >> is it an independent agency yes or no? >> it is an independent agency that operates within the executive branch. >> then that is completely begging the question. the president and secretary has said it is an independent agency, outside the purview of the executive branch. maybe the president is not micromanaging every decision, but that irs commissioner is accountable to the president. and the president can remove
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that individual if the agency was independent, then the president would not have that authority to remove that individual. i agreed to be clear -- i think n be clear. the white house press secretary did. i don't think was accurate. with benghazi terrorists, nobody has really been brought to justice for this. i know the fbi was investigating their. at this point in time, is this your purview to bring people to justice or a military issue, who is in charge of exacting justice for the terrorists who killed four americans? >> it is the response ability -- it is ultimately my responsibility. afternow, seven minutes 5:00 on whatever today's date is. , this time, i am confident and proud of the work that we have done in determining who was responsible for the
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killings in benghazi. ask but there have not been any action taken to bring them to justice cap the >> none that i can talk about right now. >> think you mr. attorney general. i yield the balance of my time. >> let me just say, in response and add to that last response, because i am not able to talk about it now does not mean that definitive, concrete action has not been taken. that should not be read that way. areas weeen aggressive have moved as quickly as we can and we are in a good position with that investigation. >> five seconds to follow-up? >> the time has expired. , fiveorney general second. >> can you say whether the is lawe action enforcement-based or military-
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based, being a kinetic response? the can say that within purview of the things that we do in the justice department, definitive action has been taken. has expired.me the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. >> thank you for your courtesy. i am glad we are ending on a smiling note. i have three document perez, oidag confirms nonpartisan merit-based hiring has returned under ag tom perez. would reserve, we have not seen the documents. can you make them available? >> i certainly will. the second document is loving all our neighbors, even our muslim ones. the title is don't be so lazy to assume that the word of a group is to represent the entire group.
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this is in usa today and the 23, 2013.ril in the record? >> without objection. >> and also a statement on asicare as a kitchen's relates to minority hospitals in separating out monies that are not tainted by the investigation s tollow those hospital treat indigent, minority patients. consent? >> without objection. that will be part of the record. >> i thank the gentleman for his courtesies. i am smiling. >> the gentleman from the --agna -- telephone you california. >> this is not public
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information, nor is it annotated area die have no problem with the other two. -- annotated. i have no problem with the other two. >> what is he indicating that it is not public information? the oig report is a public document as i understand it. >> and certainly, if you want to ,ut portions of the report in that is fine. the record of conscience which is the second page here -- accomplishments, which is the second page, if she wants to put in things about how great thomas perez is, we are perfectly willing to say yes. if he doesn't command by putting in the entire report on his quid pro quo false statements made to congress and the other companion information which is the fruit of committee work. >> without objection, the gentlewoman request will be
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granted and without objection, the gentleman from california -- >> he was generous enough to say, and i thank him for his courtesy, to say that he had a report, we have a report and we asked consent to that report -- >> without objection, the report will be made part of the record. >> and the report that the gentleman -- >> we have already covered that one. >> is is putting in another report. >> not putting in ones that don't exist. they already exist. >> this one does exist. we have covered. >> attorney general holder, we thank you for the amount of time, as was noted by the gentleman from louisiana. you spent more time than was requested. as you know, there are a lot of questions that members have and a lot of members are not satisfied with all of the answers. the number of questions are being submitted to you in writing.
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there are questions existing from previous correspondence that we would ask that you answer. showng would do more to you the respect that you refer to this committee than for you to answer those questions. as attorney general of the united states, i think it would reflect well on the respect that the attorney general of the united states is entitled to to see this questions, answered, as a part of the separation of powers, operations of checks and balances that exist in the oversight response ability of this committee. i thank you again. >> fair, mr. chairman. >> all members have five legislative days to submit additional questions for the witness were additional materials for the record. if we don't have enough already. this hearing is adjourned. >> up next, house republicans leaders discuss the irs.
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house minority leader nancy pelosi talks about republican attempts to repeal the federal healthcare law. then, a senate hearing on federal spending for scientic. on friday, the house ways and means committee investigates the irs also targeting of nsertive groups. the inspector general for tax administration is scheduled to testify. steve miller is the former king irs commissioner was scheduled to testify. she resigned wednesday afternoon. live coverage begins at 9:00 a.m. eastern on c-span three. the inspector general's full report is available online, we have a link to it on our homepage, c-span.org. a briefing held by house republicans today, peter john boehner discussed the irs targeting conservative groups. republican leaders also discussed their legislative
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agenda, which includes thursday, a real of -- repeal of the healthcare law. this is 15 minutes. >> americans need common sense solutions to help create jobs and they need accountability from the government. the house is working to give them both. with our jobs plan, it has been out there and we are continuing to focus on it. this week will be repealing obamacare. why? if it will raise the cost of healthcare, health insurance, reduce access to the american people and continue to get in the way of employers hiring new workers. in addition, i think the american people deserve the truth and fairness from their government. --ant to him plod -- a plot applaud them for their work last week on benghazi. trying to get to the bottom of
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what happened. the administration could make this a lot easier for all americans by coming forward with e-mails that they have shown u in some cases, but have not turned over to us. i don't want to prolong this anymore than anyone else. what i want is the truth. has admittede irs , to targeting conservatives even if the white house continues to be stuck on the word if. my question is not about who's going to resign. my question is, who's going to jail over this scandal? >> good morning. there have been a lot of questions raised over the last hasral days that the news awakened the public. beginning to raise questions in their mind about the direction of his government, as really to
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whom is this government accountable? we are going to proceed in our , bearing in the house in mind that we have got to restore the trust in government and restore the faith in our economy. questions that are being answered and we are accountable to the families of the victims and benghazi, we certainly are accountable to the taxpayers and the people of this country as to the actions of the irs. and we certainly have plenty of for the press in terms of its first amendment rights and ability to enjoy those and realize those. we have got plenty of action on the floor today, this week. obamacare repeal is there again because we do not believe that an individual mandate is the we ought to go.
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we also are going to be working on an sec accountability act. this is a bill coming out of the financial services committee. it is a bill that the president 's former jobs council said is necessary in terms of creating the conditions to create jobs. i am hopeful we can get a bipartisan vote on that, coming together on the one thing that people are continuing to wonder. that is, is washington concerned about the future of this economy? american public is wondering, instead of washington researching your local police or economics or your job, maybe they should be focusing on job creation. one thing that the president can do when he wants to look for something bipartisan in job creation, is the keystone pipeline. 20,000 jobs could be created
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with that single approval. tomorrow is an anniversary. 1700 days since it applied. .5,000 pages have been reviewed instead of reviewing the american people what they do with their politics, but find ways we should review and make the jobs created. house?pass the we have proven it can. kenna passed the senate? yes. in march, the vote was 62-37. 17 democrats voted for it. the report came back that it was minimal environmental impact. at a maximum impact on 20,000 jobs. the election is over. the time now, president, to focus on job creation and get the administration working in the right direction. i believe keystone is the place we should focus. what the american people expect from their government is
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, and they expect us to create an environment .here the economy will prosper when president obama's health care lot is -- his proposal became law, 20 400 pages became law. he told us it was going to lower lower improve quality, premiums and cover anyone with a pre-existing conditions and for those under 26, they would now have health care. today, as we pull back the curtain on this law, what we see and what the american people see is that obamacare is making it worse. the president promised that premiums would go down. theaid that premiums on average american family would go down $2500. what we are already seeing as that for the average american family, premiums have gone up by $3000. he promised those with pre- existing conditions would not be
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covered. unfortunately, less than one percent of those with pre- existing conditions were able to sign up for the very program that was made available to them before the president announced they were out of money. that his plan is going to lead to all americans having access to health insurance. has already analyzed that when this law is fully implemented, there will be 30 million people still uninsured. clearly, this law is making it worse for americans. walksll backgrounds, all of life, from every corner of this country. it imposes higher cost, is limiting access, is very difficult to find a doctor who will take a new medicare patiently now. it is written in the very
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health innovation and medical technology that this country has is why i am proud that the house republicans this week are voting to repeal this law and we are committed to working to replace it with the kind of healthcare reforms that are going to help americans, not hurt them. washington gone wild is what many kansans are thinking this morning as they read the headlines. it is very disturbing. of the scandals unfold, whether it is the concerns about benghazi, the secretarye irs, sibelius making calls soliciting donations from people she will to the doj and ap phonorecords. ofmakes us miss the days
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harry truman when the bucs stopped at the president's office. i am pleased this week, the house will be doing something positive to try and turn this economy around. i repeal of the obamacare law. as cap he just laid out, the american people were promised some the things and they were misled. we have seen over $1 trillion in tax increases because of the healthcare law, cuts to medicare advantage to prop up the law. we have seen craniums rather than being decreased -- premiums rather than being decreased, increase to the tune of 3000 dollars. most importantly, a drag on the economy and jobs. the uncertainty surrounding the president's health care law has cost about 7 million jobs. or, will cost millions and millions of job.
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a lot already proven to of people that we will have layoffs. i am pleased the house will be working on the appeal vote today. after months of misleading testimony and evasive answers the question about whether whether or not the irs was targeting taxpayers and entities based on their political beliefs, they have now been caught red-handed. if we are going to get accountability back in the government, you have to have accountability to create certainty. we will get to the bottom of this. i can tell you right now, this culture of rot and abuse at the irs will be rooted out. the ways and means committee will be working with the other committees in congress to ensure this happens and a full accounting of what happened is made to the american people. thank you. questions?--
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>> and you heard from constituents that irs employees [indiscernible] >> i don't have any personal knowledge. i want to thank mr. jordan from ohio who have been spearheading the effort to get to the bottom of it. frankly, their questions go back over a year. it is time for answers. most civilian employees, it would sound like there was no political motivation. who should go to jail? tothere are laws in place prevent this type of abuse. someone made a conscious to harass and hold up
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these requests for tax exempt status. i think we need to know who theyre>> speaker boehner, obvioy [indiscernible] house gop and the white house. at this point, [indiscernible] >> we have a two fold job in congress. we need to keep focused on the priorities of the american people. those priorities, the fact that we are not creating jobs quick enough and we have got stagnant wages in our country. the issue of jobs and legislation to help create a better economy continues to be our number one focus. in addition to that, we have a responsibility under the constitution to provide oversight of the executive branch.
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we are going to continue to do both of our jobs. as outlined by the constitution. when it comes to dealing with the white house, whether it is on the accountability side or on the job's side, i will do everything i can to try and get cooperation from them to advance both of our agendas. >> [inaudible] i am very interested and hopeful we will get a clear explanation for why such unprecedented action was taken. that there could be some justification that would allow them to infringe on the first amendment to the constitution. thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national
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cable satellite corp. 2013] >> in response to republican plans to vote on a repeal of the healthcare law, nancy pelosi said such a vote would the "a waste of time and money." she and other house democrats affordable care act and republican attempts to appeal it in a capitol hill briefing. this is 20 minutes. >> good afternoon. thanks for being here. i know it is a very busy day. all all kinds of deviations are to keep us off the subject of going to a budget table to reconcile dunces in the house and tenant bill. -- senate bill. so you can hopefully, with a budget that is a statement of .ur national values
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instead, here we are again. 100 and 33 days and this session of congress. 113 congress, 133 days and we have not had a single vote on a jobs bill. the american people want us to create jobs. many the answer to so challenges in their lives. instead, are wasting time once again on the republican repeal 's rights.ient this is stunning. not only is it a waste of time, it is a waste of money, $52 cost ofcalculated taking up the spill over and over again. it is not only a vote, but a waste of time. it is a vote to take away affordable quality benefits that the american people are enjoying.
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we have our hand out of all the benefits in existence right now. we will be talking about them how more, but it is about it affects women specifically that we are talking about today. those women are a part of the nearly 13 million americans benefiting from 1.1 billion dollars in rebates from health insurance companies. you see the free preventive services like cancer screening. adults and children with pre- existing conditions. women no longer pay higher premiums, and being a woman is a longer a pre-existing medical condition. our champion on the subject is congresswoman rosa delauro who will speak more on this subject. some kind of a condition, so i will excuse myself shortly to deal with that. and then to welcome
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congresswoman rosa delauro to talk about women and health. and congresswoman katzen knows firsthand how would the opportunities are now, how much better they will be in 2014, how dangerous the bill is the republicans are putting forth. congresswoman kelly, our newest member of congress on the house to us she would talk about how senior women are affected. we are also joined by congresswoman suzanne mama ietzsche -- she is in two places at once. and congresswoman janice from california. thank you very much.
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willtold lemon and honey be the trick. they have given you all kinds. some of the biggest stars in the world during the president's inauguration. i had advice from all of them. , honey and non lemon. lemon, no honey. no hot water, hot water. the only thing they agreed on was, don't use your voice. >> thank you. thank you for your leadership on this issue. can't tell you how proud i am to do with all of my colleagues here today. let me first say, welcome to groundhog day. this is the 37th time the majority has attempted to repeal the affordable care act. we face serious challenges in america. high unemployment, family struggling, a fragile economic recovery. instead of working together to
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move forward, this majority persists in relitigating the healthcare fight of 2010. they need to face it. healthcare reform was passed by the house of representatives. it was passed by the u.s. senate. it was signed by the president. it was upheld by the supreme court. it is the law of the land. majority focuses on a package of bills to create jobs -- are they doing that? no. what i want to do is repeal the affordable care act once again. if the has majority ever succeeded in rolling back the affordable care act, it is the women of america who would be especially harmed. american women have the most to lose. that is because the affordable care act has been transformative for women's health. let me tell you what would happen if it was repealed.
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insurance companies allowed to charge women more for the same coverage as men once again. they could withhold coverage for women who have had a child or a c-section, or who have been victims of domestic violence. coverage for maternity care could erode. support to help working families by insurance would dry up. women would lose access to free, recommended, preventive services and screenings that save lives. the wellness exam, an essential benefit package that guarantees better quality healthcare and a better quality of life. i know something about prevention. this march i was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. i am a cancer survivor. my cancer was detected by chance in stage one and i have been cancer free now for 27 years.
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of thely here because grace of god and the early detection, because i had access to quality healthcare. survive by luck. who is diagnosed with a room life-threatening toease should have access care. by repealing the healthcare law, the has majority would deny millions of women that same access. , we arel cost lives here today not talking about roads, bridges, or parks that we deal with on a regular basis. we are talking about saving lives. we fought hard three years ago to be able to put women's health on an equal footing with that of her spouse, her son, or
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her brother. we need to build on that and not turn back the clock. no more partisan games. lives arealth, their too precious. thank you. it is now my pleasure to introduce our colleague from new york, talking about small business. >> thank you. thank you so much for focusing on such an important topic. the trying to derail a law that is working. if you talk about the state of the economy today, everyone will say that one way we could get small businesses in our nation growing again, expanding their businesses, is by fully implementing the affordable care act. it ist comes to women, the fastest sector in our economy. there are more than 10 million
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businesses owned by women, employing more than 30 million people and generating $1.9 trillion in sales area more they are one of the fastest growing groups in the small business economy, making up almost 60%. last month, we held a hearing in the small business committee on affordable health care act. one woman, the chief financial officer of a small business in florida, recounting her company's experience with the aca. she credited with providing her company with better coverage and greater peace of mind. she credited with providing her company with better coverage and greater peace of mind. the aca will prohibit insurers
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from hiking rates on small businesses without justification or on women, just for being women. , agreed with her when she said frankly, it cannot come soon enough. the law bans insurance companies from dropping women when they get sick, become pregnant, or have some other pre-existing condition. this reduces jobs for 1.6 million prospective entrepreneurs who have a pre- existing condition and cannot leave their job and launch a new company and help grow our economy. by protecting women from insurance company dissemination, the aca helps to ensure that the estimated one third of new job creation to be generated by female owned companies i 2018 comes a reality.
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according to one study, women pay up to 48% more in premium st tn the aca stops the common practice of gender rating, charging them higher premiums than men for the same coverage. for the first time ever, insurance companies must publicly justify their actions if they want to raise rates i more than 10%. smalleview protects businesses from unfair premium hikes and ensures protectable and stable costs. talk about a business company. a small business putting together a financial plan for the next five years. if they know what they can put aside in terms of the healthcare cost, they could then know how much money they would be able to
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invest back in their company. so far, the review helps keep rate increased low, saving more employers and their workers of $600 million that they could use to grow their businesses. this week marks the 77th attempt by house republicans to rollback healthcare reform. this rollback is a waste of congress time and taxpayer money. healthcare reform is the law of the land. the supreme court found constitutional. reelected president obama on the message. it is time to move on, and now this valuable law to stay in place and tackle the challenges the american people care about, jobs, jobs, jobs. thank you. thank you.
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thank you all for being here. i am honored to be standing with my wonderful colleagues to talk about the affordable care act, which we know is a watershed moment for all americans. especially for women and their families. this week, it has already been house for the 37th time, republicans want to turn back the clock and go back to what everyone agrees is a broken system. before reform, our healthcare system was not meeting the needs of women women and their families. that was certainly the case for victoria strong, a young mother living in my home town of santa barbara, california. her daughter gwendolyn was diagnosed with a very rare to see is at the age of six months. her care is extremely expensive. despite the fact that she and her husband had a very good
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health insurance policy, one they paid thousands of dollars per month for, victoria lived in constant fear that gwendolyn would reachbecause of her pre-eg condition, she would then be uninsurable for the rest of her life. that is a death sentence. i cannot imagine how difficult it was for victoria, who had already dedicated her whole life to caring for this daughter, to not even know if her child's asic healthcare survive would be covered in the future. that is exactly what all mothers face before the affordable care act. the limitation of lifetime caps has given victoria peace of mind, finally. it is done the same for millions of mothers across the nation. that is what the affordable care act was all about. fixing our broken healthcare system and fixing it for families like the strong family. for women across this country,
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and their families, this blog get it right -- this law gets it right. we have to remember women like victoria. these stories are about them. they are about real people, real lives and they are the reason we are here today. to give these moms and dads and their kids a voice. to fight for them as house republicans try to take away their security and peace of mind. i am so proud of gwendolyn for all that she has faced and i am also proud of victoria, and the moms like her across the country, for making their voices heard. they need the affordable care act. we must stand strong to protect it. if we repeal this law, victoria and gwendolyn strong woodlands of --be at the mercy would once again be at the
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mercy of the insurance companies. i thank you for hearing our expressions. now we will hear from our newest member of congress, our colleague congress woman robin kelly. >> good afternoon and thank you so much. in my district, many seniors, the majority of women, to face a tough choice every day. should they buy food or get their prescription medicine? for them, it is an either/or proposition because of the recession one-two punch of gwendolyn retirement savings and evaporated home equity has left many without money to make ends meet. the food pantry in my district, hundreds of seniors come in for help, some of whom just get 11 a month for food and are having to dip into medicine money just to eat. the affordable care act is designed to seniors from having to make that choice, by reducing description drug cost.
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last year alone, the average senior saved more than $700. this important legislation also provides free medicare coverage for key preventative services, such as mammograms and help catches, to problems early and stay healthy longer. it also provides a free annual wellness is an -- visit under medicare. the affordable care act strengthens reforms and extend the solvency of the medicare trust fund and roots out waste and fraud. a faultblican bill is on our seniors and especially women. we must work to ensure that seniors have the medical care they need and the dignity and security they deserve. i hope with my colleagues that we are not appear to talk about the 38th time. thank you. >> thank you. any questions? yes. republicans are pointing to
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the irs scandal from the last couple of days and are doing withthat agency, charged implement it healthcare to some degree, has low credibility now. they are talking about cutting to funding for irs agents implement healthcare. are you concerned about the fall of from the irs scandal on the implication of healthcare? >> first of all, let me say that it is a -- there is an investigation going on. i think we are all of the view as has been stated publicly by our leader and others, that it is a bad decision. it is outrageous. it should not happen. there is going to be an investigation surrounding it. those who are responsible will be held accountable. i have no crystal ball to foresee about how this will affect the limitation of the health care bill. it should not do that in any
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case. there should not be any barricade or any continued barriers to and fomenting the affordable care act. as i have said, this is the law of the land. there are those would like to see it unraveled and undone. they will continue as they are doing, instead of focusing on jobs, which is critical. they are now going for the 37th time brings up for appeal to no end. that is just what their mindset is. we are going to push forward with implementation. >> [inaudible] one of the big picture objections by republicans is that it represents government overreach. you have now got three issues ,acing the obama administration how concerned are you about the of these three
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things happening at the same time on their argument in your shack up -- and yours? they are going down a road that does not want to deal with implementing the health care bill. that is what we are going to do. that is what we are going to push forward on. that should not be getting in the way of what people agree on an investigation. and what the result of that might be. everyone does. they are moving forward. that should not get in the way. we can walk and chew gum at the same time in this institution. >> this is called obamacare, derogatory in the beginning and is now considered good. reform.out healthcare a gonen has been -- or has been out in the lead on some healthcare transformation issues, expanding access. in a recent study within the last two weeks, it shows that we
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are driving down cost, especially for catastrophic care and women are getting more preventive care. if we can implement the affordable care act nationally, we are talking about not only a significantly healthier population, but also cost savings. i see this as something that we need to continue to push forward, looking for states like oregon as an example of where this is working. >> [inaudible] private money to implement obamacare. do you have any response to that ech? >> when we did the prescription drug bill a number of years ago, with regard to advertising in that bill, that was done by pharmaceutical industry. i don't think it is anything out of the ordinary. she is meticulous and making sure that we are keeping within the confines of what the law is. >> how is congress handling
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[inaudible] religious organizations like catholic universities and hospitals that don't want to cover [ina >> they do not have to cover the co-pay. the lawsuits which are there, but the fact is that they do not. the administration has worked very hard to come to a ampromise, which says that third-party insurance company will pick up the cost. they do not have any co-pay obligation. the points have been made, and you look at the little card, it has been 100 years since we had the opportunity to transform our health care system. to be able to provide accessible, affordable health care to people. talkingcase, we are about women today. women have been, with regard to the health care system, i see a
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lot of young women in this audience. asy have been stepchildren it has to do with the health care system. , the are also the most demographic that is most economically insecure. they have not been able to get the kinds of event services that they need because of cost area whether it was a mammogram, and ovarian cancer screening or other things. now they are able to do it without a co-pay. we should march together to make sure that we implement this legislation and change health care for the nation and particularly for women. thank you. >> the 2013 congressional directory has been updated with new numbers. it is available online for
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$12.95 plus shipping and handling. go to c-span.org/shop. coming